Palliative care nurses. Ireland's hidden heroes

Palliative care nurses. Ireland's hidden heroes

By Soham Ghosh (Twitter: @SohamGhosh1995)

The work of a palliative care centre nurse is often emotionally demanding and can affect their livelihoods.

The nature of the care centre nurses’ work revolves around loss, and that can lead to them bearing a large burden.

The relationship a nurse has with his or her patients grows with time, and many patients stay in nursing homes for several years before they pass away.

The nurses are trained to not become emotionally attached to their patients, but there is always the chance that these ties are made.

Milford Care Centre Hospice Clinical Nurse Manager Breda O’Neill said that it is easy to get attached if you let yourself and in this line of work, nurses have to look out for each other.

"There would be a great camaraderie between ourselves and that really helps,” Ms O’Neill said.

Milford Care Centre Hospice Clinical Nurse Manager Breda O’Neill
Milford Care Centre Hospice Clinical Nurse Manager Breda O’Neill

She said that empathy is required to be good in this line of work, but it is important to separate work from one’s personal life to make sure that the next patient is treated properly.

Nurses need to cope with death, and in palliative care, nurses need to also cope with personal loss.

Patients could see their nurses as an extension of their family. This leads to strong emotional ties and the death of a patient sometimes requires the help of therapists to tackle.

The nursing home is like a large family, which combines the intricacies of daily life with the colour of hospitality and care.

Sohan Gosh found out more.

This article and video is a submission to the annual University of Limerick / Landmark Media video competition

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