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Linda Coffey Banner

What Can a Career in Hospice Care Offer You? Growth, Fulfilment – and Mojo

Ahead of National Careers Week, we want to ask you a couple of big questions.

Have you considered a career in hospice care? How about at ellenor?

According to Linda Coffey, our Director of Care, you should.

Because it’s not only nurses, or clinical roles, hospice care needs. We want people from all backgrounds. All walks of life. All skill sets. And all levels of experience.

Linda explains.

“Hospice care isn’t just nursing. Think about the breadth of what we cover at a hospice – fundraising, marketing, volunteering, housekeeping and catering, to name just a few – there’s a role for everybody.

“If the thought of caring hands on for a patient isn’t for you – but you still want to support families and those important to them – then a fundraising or marketing role might suit. There are so many different ways you can give back to your community. It doesn’t have to be in a clinical role.”

However, you choose to get involved with hospice care, that’s exactly how you’ll feel – involved. And like you’re not just part of an organisation, or a team. But a ‘work family’.

“Hospices are very much like big work families,” Linda says. “Because everyone shares similar values – they’re all there with the same focus in mind.

“It’s the marketer getting stories out there to promote what we do as a hospice; the fundraiser organising events; the nurse on the ward, being by a patient’s bedside easing their pain and distress.

“It’s the nurse out there in the community, administering medication to a patient in their own home. Or it could be me, simply talking to a patient’s relative over the phone – helping ease their distress with a calming word.

“Whatever role we have, whichever title we bear on our badge – we’re all making a difference, aren’t we? That’s what it’s about.”

And if you are looking to make a difference in a clinical role, we offer a wealth of opportunities and career pathways.

As a nurse at ellenor, you’ll be part of a multidisciplinary team providing holistic care and support. That means you won’t simply treat the illness, but the person. You’ll help improve patients’ symptoms and boost the quality of life for them and their families and those important to them. Respecting their needs and wishes, and helping them to live, and enjoy, the life they have left – with dignity and happiness.

You’ll also get something other clinical settings don’t offer all their nurses – time to care and be with your patient. At ellenor, you’ll get the privilege of getting to know the people you’re looking after, as well as their families and those important to them. 

You’ll be in the rare, rewarding position of being part of their journey – from diagnosis to the end. And, in doing so, know you’ve made a positive difference to their lives.

“The care we provide here at ellenor encompasses the needs of the patient, the child, the family – it’s everything around that patient, rather than their medical condition alone. Everyone here is focused on that one goal – supporting the patient – and everyone is pulling in the same direction. We’re a strong, tight-knit team.”

A small one, too – we employ around 137 staff and 197 volunteers across clinical and non-clinical settings throughout the Kent and Bexley communities we call home. And according to Linda, size matters – because staying small offers plenty of benefits for our team members.

Benefits that large organisations simply can’t match.

“Because we’re smaller, you tend to get to know people here in a different way than you might at a larger healthcare organisation. Some people like that – I know I do.

“In a smaller organisation, it’s also easier to make your mark; to make an impact. If you come up with innovations, or things you want to try, it’s much easier to put them into practice. Here at ellenor, you have the autonomy to share – and implement – your ideas. It’s a nice feeling!”

A clinical role in hospice care is rewarding – but it has its challenges.

“The work we do here can be stressful and emotionally demanding,” Linda says. “But we have a strong support structure in place. It’s a system that allows us to continually check in on each other – to walk and talk each other through the ups and downs of the role.”

There’s plenty of career progression, too – whether that’s expanding your career through ellenor-sponsored education or leaning on the knowledge and expertise of the team to upskill on the job.

Linda, of course, is one of the loudest, most passionate advocates of a career in hospice care. So, what has her role at ellenor given her?

Linda joined ellenor eight years ago. At the time, she was working for a large healthcare organisation. 

She was looking for a new challenge and somewhere to use both her clinical and leadership skills.

“In my old role, I’d become quite disconnected from what was going on clinically. Here, I’m in a similar role – but I go home every day knowing I’ve made a difference to somebody. Even if it’s just making a phone call, or responding to an email query, I know I’ve made a difference – and that’s what I came into nursing to do.

“The other day, I ran into my old boss, who asked me how I was doing. When I replied, it was with a big smile on my face. I said…

“‘I’ve got my mojo back!’”