Caring nurses win awards for helping patients in their final days


Two De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) students have won awards for describing first-hand the care and compassion they have seen shown to patients in their final days.

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Holly Smith, a third year Nursing student, pictured above, and Elaine Wright, who is studying MSc Palliative Care, wrote about their experiences with patients on the wards at Leicester Royal Infirmary (LRI) and Leicester General hospitals.

Holly wrote about the difference it made to a patient being able to have her dog visit her in the hospice she was going to. She was awarded the Royal College of Nursing prize for her reflective piece.

She said: “We’d made arrangements for her to move into a hospice and she had a dog, which was being looked after by a relative. The healthcare assistant asked if the hospice let pets in and they did, so she was able to see her dog again and spend some time together in the hospice.

“She was happy to be able to go into the hospice but when she found out she would be able to see her dog again, she was so pleased and it was very emotional. You could see what a difference it made to her.”

Holly’s prize was free attendance at a RCN conference and she plans to attend an event focusing on critical care as she plans to work in cardio-respiratory wards. She said: “I enjoyed my time in the respiratory ward and was able to see how amazing palliative care is when families and patients have enough time to plan what they want to do when the time comes.
“I have absolutely loved DMU, it’s the best thing I have ever done, no question.”

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Healthcare assistant Elaine Wright (pictured above) won the postgraduate Excellence in Palliative Care Award sponsored by Loros and DMU after impressing judges with an essay on how her Master’s studies have helped her to help patients.

She praised her ward sister Rachel Boardman for being a “positive and encouraging influence” on her learning. She added: “I work on the teenage cancer ward at the LRI and although it can be emotional there is a such a sense of celebrating life and staying positive, it is quite humbling.

“I wrote about how I use the skills on the ward which I have learned through my studies. It’s helped my confidence and the skills I have learned in communication I use every single day.


“I’m passionate about palliative care and getting the best for patients and the Master’s modules have given me the ability to do that. It was such a surprise to win. I was delighted.”

Posted on Thursday 9th April 2015

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