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Who are you?

Christina Warr, palliative care clinical nurse specialist.

Summarise your role.

Being a palliative care CNS is a challenging role, but one that is highly fulfilling. We provide support to both patients and their families or carers (including our colleagues), during the palliative phase of a patient’s illness. We help them come to terms with the circumstances in which they find themselvesin during this highly emotional and distressing time.

We make autonomous decisions and carry out holistic assessments, provide advice on pain and symptom control and support patients at the end of their life. We work closely with the wider MDT and support with rapid discharge planning for those near the end of life.

As well as our clinical work, we also spend time delivering educational programmes to our colleagues and contribute to the development of polices within palliative care.

What do you find rewarding about your role?

Making a difference, however small. Whether this is assisting someone at the end of life to take a few comfort sips of their favourite drink or helping to organise an inpatient wedding and facilitating a patient out of hospital to their preferred place of care.

What do you find challenging?

There are numerous challenges, but one that we face regularly is, unfortunately, late referrals to our service. This has a big impact on the amount of time we have to make a difference with patients and relatives and, sadly, some patients die before we are able to assess them and offer support and advice. 

What do you enjoy outside of work?

When I am not at work, I make the most of being at home with my family.

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