Chatting with Susan...

One of our Community Nurse Specialists Susan tells us about life at ACCORD

What is the  role of a Community Nurse Specialist at ACCORD?

My role is to always keep the patient at the heart of all that I do. We are the advocates for our patient. Our aim is to help improve the quality of life for a patient and their family by providing information and support to allow them to make choices about their care. We focus on symptom control rather than treatment of disease. We focus on what matters to people.

What is the importance of emotional and psychological support for patients and their loved ones?

This is extremely important as it can help patients and families to share thoughts and feelings which they may find difficult to share with those close to them. People may worry about talking about sensitive issues like dying, funeral planning or end of life wishes as they don’t want to upset a loved one, so talking to someone else can help ease the emotional distress.

What is the importance of emotional and psychological support for patients and their loved ones?

I feel motivated and inspired in my role by the amazing people I work with at ACCORD and the patients and carers I meet in the community who face a very uncertain future, but who carry on each day facing whatever life throws at them. 

I feel very humbled when I see how people cope with illness and adversity and I feel extremely privileged to work in this role where I see and hopefully can help people at the worst and darkest time in their life. 

Can you share a memorable experience that highlights the impact of the community nursing services at ACCORD?

I remember caring for a young man who wished to die at home. He had a difficult time and complex symptoms - I had not known him long before he became quite poorly. However, with a lot of support from our doctors, ACCORD@HOME, and our Counsellors, we were able to keep him at home.

The family were very thankful for this as it allowed them to spend very precious, private time with him. The patient and his family were so thankful for everything we did, and it was a very humbling experience. Being able to have him at home meant everything and helped make a terrible situation more bearable and certainly more meaningful for them.