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Home care for patients

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Steven O’Brien has been a District Nurse for Dovecot Health Centre in Liverpool for 18 months.

What does your role involve?

I provide nursing care for housebound patients in West Derby and Dovecot. The majority of my patients are elderly, have serious illnesses such as cancer, or are recovering from surgery. They are referred to our office by their GP or hospital.

Can you describe a ‘typical’ day?

I visit my patients in their homes, provide wound care, palliative care and administer medication. I also help develop their ongoing care plans and organise referrals to their GP and other healthcare professionals, such as occupational therapists.

How did you end up in this role?

I started my career in learning disability nursing and then worked with people with mental health problems. I was part of a nursing primary care team when I was seconded to train for this role - something I wouldn’t have been able to do without my Trust’s support.

What’s the best bit about your job?

It’s rewarding to work so closely with patients, often over a number of years. Many have serious terminal illnesses, so you become a counsellor and figure of support for them and their families.

What advice would you give to a nurse who was interested in getting into this area?

The close relationships you develop with patients and their families is one reward. You also have a lot of autonomy while still being part of a team. We have a handover meeting every morning, and talk to each other regularly throughout the day to get advice and support and plan future care for our patients. I would definitely recommend community nursing as a career.

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