To celebrate International Nurse Day Lavinia Jarrett, Deputy CEO has shared her experiences from several work in your shoes days to shine a light on the incredible work our nursing and care teams are doing every day:

“I have often been inspired by the nurses and carers at Demelza and I have been fortunate to enjoy several opportunities to Work in Their Shoes, when the value of the very special work they do really hits home.

Shifts start at 7.30am with a hand-over where the night shift relay lots of information to the day team. This might range from complex clinical information, to social events that are important to that child or family.

On my last trip to the Kent hospice, one of our long serving nurses, clearly slightly jaded from what sounded like a very busy night shift, gave detailed information on each child. She didn’t stop until every question had been answered. Of particular note to me was how they had managed a child overnight whose oxygenated blood reading had dropped. The steps they took, the medical advice they sought, the medication they used and when and why, the detailed conversations with mum throughout the night and into the next morning.

All this was recorded in the care plan and medication chart but the nurse looking after the child that day, and the shift co-ordinator in charge of the day shift, were able to ask questions, take notes and listen carefully so that care could be understood and continued at a consistently high standard throughout the day.

One of the things that I have realised from shadowing our nursing team, is that it is true what they say, no two days are the same.”

Throughout International Nurse Day we have been asking you to share your favourite Demelza nursing moments, using the hashtag #ThankYouDemelzaNurses and Lavinia was keen to share hers with you:

“One of my stand-out memories is working alongside one nurse in our South East London hospice. I helped the nurse to wake a sleeping child who had to go to school. She was curled up like a little beautiful dormouse and was woken, bathed and dressed with such care and consideration. It was so touching. If it was daunting to be woken by someone other than her mum, it didn’t show. Nothing was rushed or hurried.

When we had finished the nurse went to see if the school bus had arrived and make sure all her possessions were in place as the little girl went home that day. She told me to sing to her. I had no idea what the little girl might like so I sang Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. As I did she put her little hand on my throat to feel the vibration and her face lit up like a beacon. I tried hard not to cry, but it was impossible.

Every time I sang the same smile came again from one ear to the other. It was a matter of minutes before the little girl needed to be taken to reception as the bus has arrived for her but that those minutes made my day, my week even. It’s that kind of special care and attention to detail that makes it special and helps our parents to trust us with the care of the thing most precious to them.”

We are sure you agree that our nurses pass on their knowledge and equip those closest to the child with the confidence and skills to manage their child’s symptoms and complex medical needs in the hospice and at home. Please share your favourite nursing and care stories on social media today and help us to shine a light on nursing. They work closely with the wider Demelza team including our amazing Health Care Assistants to provide the best possible care to the children and families we support.