*How long have you been working for Sue Ryder?*
I have been a practising nurse for nearly 20 years. My first years in this profession I worked in the intensive therapy unit on the paediatric ward at the Mother Theresa University Hospital Centre. I have worked at Sue Ryder for 14 years and became the Head Nurse for the Tirana team 4 years ago.
*What is a typical day for you at Sue Ryder?*
My day at Ryder Albania starts at 8:30 with the morning staff meeting. In this meeting we discus the needs of the patients and their families, also assessing the treatment plans for patients, looking at pain relief and control, counselling and support for patients and carers. The aim of the meeting is to discuss the cases we have, with each of the staff members free to express their opinion based on their experience and position; we keep at heart the best interest of the patient and their family.
We then plan the daily home visits, prioritising the patients whom have the most difficult health condition.
After the staff meeting, the office is open for drop-in visits, where people come to ask for assistance for their family members suffering a life threatening disease.
The doctor in charge and the head nurse will evaluate the new patients who ask for assistance from Ryder Albania. We prioritise patients in difficult economic and social conditions. Every family that receives care from Ryder Albania is oriented on how to assist their loved ones at home, they are given advice on how to deal with their situation and every thing related to the disease.
The first visit will always be made by a doctor and nurse, the day and time with the family of the patient will then be agreed. It is a must that a member of the family is identified as the contact and needs to be present during the visit.
I assist the doctor in preparing the prescriptions and describing the therapy and the conditions of the patient in the clinical file.
Part of my typical day is a close collaboration with the family of the patient, short and long conversation, counselling how to deal the difficult moments.
*What do you enjoy most of working at Sue Ryder?*
I am very pleased and happy when I can notice how important and helpful I am to patients. They often feel abandoned, and deprived from any form of assistance or any rights they should enjoy. These patients learn to live with pain and suffering and as a consequence they somehow lose track of the basic human identity and rights. I do feel very good when with my contribution, I help the others feel better and where death is perceived as a normal process and not as the only way out to escape pain and sufferance. To me working in Palliative Care was and is a big challenge, dealing every day with death and dying it is not easy. It is very important for me that in last moments of the patients’ lives, I am close supporting and relieving their pain not only to the patients but to the family as well.
*What inspires you?*
Devotion, vocation, love and professionalism, are what inspire me in my work. To provide care for terminal patients does not mean “I do for” but it means “To be with”.