Page 19 - TalkingCare_Issue3_WebVersion_OACP Winter 2017
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  The Care Home Worker Award
Highly Commended:
Kim Marsden
Larkrise Care Centre, Banbury
The Orders of St John, Care Trust (OSJCT)
   Kim is a qualified RGN with a huge amount of experience in both hospital and community settings. She joined Larkrise Care Centre fairly recently as a Registered Nurse on the Nursing Unit.
Originally from London, Kim married young and became a forces wife, but the marriage dissolved, she then met the love of her life, Bill, a Liverpudlian; they have been married 29 years. Kim found part­time work – Whilst bringing up her family, Kim found part­time work in a local wool shop. The job, although useful, couldn’t suppress Kim’s long term drive. “I had a compelling desire to become a nurse that wouldn’t go away, and what’s more I didn’t want it to,” says Kim. Chatting with her boss at that time, about her ambition, she suggested Kim apply to become a Healthcare Assistant. Kim was taken on at a local hospital as ‘bank’ staff. Kim worked in this capacity for 10 years before a cut in hours meant she had to leave and look for another job. This time Kim found a job in an electronics factory. Released part­time to attend college, Kim studied and passed ‘A’ levels.
At 38 following a major operation, which made her rethink her life. Listening to Jimmy Young on the radio talking about new careers, Kim became determined more than ever to pursue a career in nursing, applying for and obtaining a bursary for a nurse
training placement at Northampton General Hospital. Passing her training Kim was one of forty­two nursing students who qualified. She’d done it, she’d qualified as a Registered Nurse (RGN) at last!
Kim’s first job was at Horton Hospital in Banbury working on a medical ward, followed by Katharine House Hospice, Adderbury, “an incredible experience”, then came district nursing. Kim found this challenging and, at times, frustrating. “I wasn’t seeing patients for long enough. There’s a great deal of liaison with other agencies and hospitals. Hours on the job kept extending – 7am ­ 8pm – no family life at all! I’m sad to say the pressures of job really affected me. I really loved that job too!”
Considering her nursing experiences, Kim began to clarify aspects of the work she enjoyed most. She liked caring for older people in an intimate environment, building relationships with patients and determining their individual needs. So where, she thought, could all these aspects come together in a job? A care home might be the answer, she thought! But was she right?
Now, ready to start again, and understanding what made her tick, Kim applied for and accepted a position in a family­run nursing home. She was right! This, after everything she had been through, was where she, as an experienced RGN belonged. Once in post, Kim began to specialise, more training, this time studying dementia care and end of life care. Loving her work, a turn of events forced the home to close, with Kim staying on, until the last person left.
Undaunted, Kim found her current position at Larkrise Care Centre last year, and is delighted to be working in the environment she loves best, working on the nursing wing. Lyndsay Sard, Home Manager, commented: ‘Since Kim joined OSJCT, she has put her focus and attention on delivering excellence in end of life care. During the process of end of life care, Kim not only provides exceptional nursing care for the resident, but provides care and support to the family as well. She has made suggestions to the home’s management, to set up a private room for families to stay in, to rest and refresh, which has been approved and is now available. For the families, knowing that they are seconds away from their loved one has been greatly appreciated. Kim ensures that, whilst caring for those needing end of life care, the level of care of other residents is not diminished and that the highest
standards of care on the nursing unit are maintained at all times’.
Kim says, ‘I really love my work in dementia and palliative ­ end of life ­ care. You only get one chance to get it right for the person and their family. Empathy not sympathy must be our watchword. We as professionals must continue to ask ourselves at all times, ‘what is best for the person’. Kim continues, ‘In the past, some care workers found they were intimidated by end of life care, talking about dying was taboo. This is not the case any more; there has been a real change of attitudes. Acceptance of a good death guided by the Department of Health’s End of Life Care Strategy was followed by a series of key documents that have charted progress in understanding and improving end of life care in recent years. These have included the NICE Quality Standard for End of Life Care and One Chance to get it right. Mentoring and reflective practice in nursing care, training and open conversations about how, they as ‘carers or care workers feel has assisted this change.
“Thinking ahead, more family involvement is crucial – dementia is huge. Young care workers require on­going mentoring and advice on how to talk to the family. This is something I am passionate about!’
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“Thinking ahead, more family involvement is crucial – dementia is huge. Young care workers require on- going mentoring and advice on how to talk to the family. This is something I am passionate about!”
Get into care work today! You’ll NEVER look back...
  Continued on page 22 2017|ISSUE 3|TALKING CARE|19

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