mcpatient3People always say that they could never do my job and I always wonder why. For me, providing support and comfort to people during their most difficult times is such an honour. 

I am lucky to be part of around 85 Marie Curie nurses across Lincolnshire. We work through the night to provide expert care and support to people living with any terminal illness, and their loved ones, helping them make the most of the precious time they have together.

Hayley Pointon - Marie Curie Rapid Response Nurse.
Hayley Pointon – Marie Curie Rapid Response Nurse.

I am a registered nurse who works within the unique Marie Curie Rapid Response team in Lincolnshire. We make emergency visits to patients throughout Monday to Friday 4pm till 8am – the twilight hours – and 24/7 on weekends and bank holidays. Yes, even on Christmas Day, we will be there.

We arrive to our bases at 3.15pm and, as everything is patient and family led, there is no ‘normal’ shift for us. My base is in Grantham and this is where we carry out checks on our car for the night and ensure we have all the stocks we might need. From 4pm, we are available for calls from patients, families and other agencies including local care homes and district nurses.

We receive calls for a number of reasons. As an example, a relative may be struggling to support a loved one in pain. In this case we will advise on medicines and dosages, signpost to other services or, in the most cases, we may need to visit the patient.

If we are asked to visit, we will aim to be at that patient’s home within an hour.

Due to the size of Lincolnshire, last month Grantham team covered an average of 5,500 miles in the car – one of our busiest nights saw us visit nine homes in the local area.

We will remain at a person’s home to provide support and care as required. We might walk into a house when the family are at crisis point and realise that they need help. When complete that visit, I leave knowing that I have helped and calmed down the situation. That extra night’s sleep for a carer or a cup of tea and a chat for a patient can mean a lot.

When people ask me how I can do my job I can honestly say with great ease. I know that, in doing my job, I am helping families and loved ones make the most of their time together.

We’re also helping them spend that time together at home and, by making our visits, preventing situations that could lead to a hospital admission.  It truly is an honour, not a job.

Written by Lauren Alexander, community fundraiser but the words of Hayley Pointon, Rapid Response Nurse. 

Marie Curie employs more than 2,700 nurses, doctors and other healthcare professionals, and with its nine hospices around the UK, is the largest provider of hospice beds outside the NHS.

For more information visit www.mariecurie.org.uk