Originally a dedicated volunteer for three years before joining Demelza as an employee, Karen’s seven years within the organisation have seen her make various roles across our IT, Resources and Care Team’s her own.

In September 2021 Karen returned back to her original stomping ground, taking on the brand-new role of ‘Care Coordinator’. Explaining why she decided to return to Care after spending years within our IT department, Karen shares: “I wanted more of a connection. And, I love organising – so I knew this role was going to be perfect for me. It was good for me to be able to bring all of the knowledge that I acquired from working (and volunteering) in other departments and apply it within this new role.”

Karen is volunteering at Demelza's Bubble Rush event, surrounded by pink bubbles.

What does a Care Coordinator do at Demelza?

As most of our Nursing and Care Team would agree, no two days are the same. Sharing what her ‘typical’ day looks like, Karen shares: “So, my main responsibility is completing the Nursing and Care rotas – I prepare these for the whole month. I have 40 [Kent] staff which I have to rota for the whole month, everyone having different hours, shifts, annual leave and preferences – it’s like a massive sudoku puzzle! I have to make sure they’re on shift for mandatory training, liaising with other teams, such as marketing, in case they need to be on shift for interviews – so that in itself can take at least a few days to do. I have a counterpart, who has just joined us in South East London, Nicole, who oversees the rotas there. Then off the back of that, I organise training by liaising with Clinical Governance, again making sure the rotas accommodate for that too."

“With my background in IT I tend to help with that side as well, by helping some of the nurses to build their confidence through online training courses or demonstrations for example."

"This can be anything from using the care database, using various pieces of equipment such as the Lifelites eye gaze communication device, or the interactive magic carpet and magic mirror. But generally, the nurses are looking after the children, they don’t have the time to just sit and do these things, so that’s where I come in – as a sort of go-between from Care to other departments.

I also help Helen [Rolls, Lead Nurse in Kent] and the three Team Leaders in a PA capacity, helping with admin, producing reports and collating information. Another aspect of my role involves working closely with our Fundraising Team. When supporters would like to make donations, I will organise the drop-offs and meet and greet them when they arrive on site – and I love that part, so much. I love that we get to make a difference and although I’m a cog in a massive machine, at least I can think ‘well I had some sort of interaction’ – and that I can do something.

I love speaking the families. We have had end-of-life cases in here, which is obviously part of what we do – and sometimes the families just need those ‘general’ daily conversations.”

Being part of an amazing Care Team

I have to admit, being part of the Care Team has been amazing, I have seen some amazing things. Like with the team, we had a recent end-of-life case, which really affected quite of a lot of us. The care team are like a ‘drawstring bag’ because they’re all doing their bits and then someone needs some support and the drawstring goes and then suddenly, they’re all there – getting you a cup of tea, talking about it. As soon as you’re in need, they all come to you and then they sort of make it better.

I absolutely love my job. It’s full on, don’t get me wrong, this job is very, very stressful – but then you experience those little glimpses and it makes everything worthwhile. There can be really sad times here, heart-breaking and then there’s other times that are just so beautiful and lifts you, and it’s fantastic – I’m very, very lucky.

Join Demelza’s Nursing and Care Team

At Demelza, we believe people, just like Karen, are our greatest asset – and we are looking for experienced registered nurses to join us at our sites in Kent, South East London and East Sussex. Find out more about the roles we have available and the benefits of working at Demelza today.

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