It goes without saying that we couldn’t give families the standard of care that we do without our brilliant team at Tŷ Hafan Children’s Hospice. But what does a day in their life actually look like? It might be different to how you imagine it. We spoke to one of our outstanding team members, Carly Davies, who is a Learning Disability Nurse (RNLD), to find out.
“First thing in the morning, we do a handover. This is where the night staff tell us how the children at the hospice have been overnight. My usual shift pattern involves three 12-hour shifts every week, but I sometimes cover night shifts, as well.
“When we start our shift, we’re told which child and family we’re going to be to looking after that day – the care and support we provide hugely varies from child to child, depending on their needs.
“For me, it’s not just about meeting the child’s clinical needs, although that’s the priority. It’s about making their stay here as enjoyable as possible. It’s often a mixture of accessing the Play Team and the services they offer and using my own initiative to engage the child in their favourite activities.
“That could be all kinds of different things. The excellent Play Team organise a wide range of activities like crafts, walks, day trips and even story massage. Story massage is an activity that I often support the Play Team with. It’s where they read stories to the children, but the story has a massage incorporated into it, and I do the massage.
“I come from a theatre background, so I try to incorporate that as much as possible by singing with the children… but sometimes they tell me to stop! I think when people think of hospice care, they think if it as being really sad. And it can be. But there are lots of aspects of Tŷ Hafan that are so uplifting.
“For example, before I started, I didn’t know there was a Play Team. It offers families that little bit more. Something I think is amazing is the equipment in the music room that enables children who struggle with movement to use their eyes to make music! So, even children with very limited mobility can still be involved in exciting activities.
“Of course, there are challenges that come with working in a children’s hospice. It can be a hard job and it can be emotionally exhausting, but it’s really rewarding. For a family to allow you to be a part of their journey, for me, is a great honour. It’s really special.
“By far the best part of my job is getting to know the children and building a rapport with them and their families. There’s nothing better than engaging a child in an activity they love and they’re smiling and they’re happy.”
Thank you for sharing your time with us Carly.
Join team Tŷ Hafan!
Just some of the benefits our care staff can enjoy are:
- 30 days holiday (+ more with service) + Bank Holidays
- Unsociable hours payments & overtime opportunities
- Professional development & training opportunities
- 5% employer pension contribution or the ability to continue with NHS pension
- Employee Assistance Programme & formal clinical supervision
- Cycle to work & shopping discount schemes
- On-site free parking & subsidised meals
Tŷ Hafan is always on the lookout for hospice care staff, so if you’d like to join our team, please get in touch!