Senior Nurse, Melissa, shares an insight into her personal development at Demelza

As a nurse led service, Demelza is committed to supporting our Nursing and Care Team with their professional development. This includes training in line with a clinical competency framework to support specialist paediatric palliative care, symptom control and end of life support, opportunities to attain professional and academic qualifications and regular high-quality training. 

Melissa Day, Senior Registered Children’s Nurse, tells us more about the training she has received at Demelza: 

“I trained at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) London to become a Registered Children’s Nurse. I was then employed there as a Children’s Nurse for three and a half years post-registration on the surgical wards rotation (orthopaedics, general surgical and neonatal general surgical). I left GOSH and came to work at Demelza in the South East London Hospice in 2009”. 

Melissa’s personal development at Demelza

“Since coming to Demelza I have fallen in love with children’s palliative care. When I worked at Great Ormond Street I was quite adamant that I didn’t want to work with children with terminal conditions; little did I know, I would come to work at a children’s hospice and love working with such wonderful children and their families.  

“The children have a vast range of complex needs and a high level of clinical competence is required to care for them – all whilst making memories and facilitating fun activities for the children to enjoy.

“I have become competent and experienced in looking after ventilated children, and helping them live day-to-day with a ventilator and do all the usual things that children want to do. I also educate families who care for and live with a ventilated child or baby. 

“I have learnt and become experienced in children’s palliative care and in general, caring for children with very complex needs. Anyone and everyone who is dying deserves to be wrapped up in cotton wool (metaphorically speaking), they shouldn’t have any stress or discomfort and should be cared for with their family in the way they would like. They should be able to make the memory that they want and do all the activities they feel they can and would like to do together, in comfort. 

“I have gained experience in catheterisation. The clinical skills you learn and use at Demelza are vast and interesting and no two days are ever the same.  

“I know I want to stay within children’s palliative care with my nursing career and I am now completing a Masters in Palliative Medicine. This is only possible with the support of Demelza and their commitment to supporting their Nursing and Care Team to further their knowledge and understanding and gaining further qualifications; which ultimately improves the quality of care we provide to the children and families who are referred to Demelza. 

“If a child is going to die, and this is very rare but it does happen - if there is no other option and no body knows when this will happen, Demelza’s excellent team of experienced Nurses and Health Care Assistants are best placed to provide the tender, personalised care to that child and their family. 

“The care team at Demelza’s Eltham hospice, in South East London, (where I am based), is the best team I’ve ever worked with - and it’s a privilege to care for the families who use our services. I feel lucky work at Demelza. 

“Specialised Children’s Palliative Nurses do not really exist, but I feel strongly that that is exactly what we are at Demelza”. 

Join our nursing team

We’re recruiting for Registered Nurses to join our team, with opportunities to work in our hospices in Kent and South East London or our community teams in Kent, South East London or East Sussex.