International Nurses Day live blog - part 2

On International Nurses Day 2016 (12 May), we're following several of our nurses throughout their shifts to showcase some of the amazing work they do. Follow along here and on Twitter   

NB: Our latest updates appear first. You'll need to refresh the page to see new updates as they appear. 

Check out the first half of this live blog, covering 7am up to lunchtime.


We're bringing this live blog to a close as hundreds of Marie Curie Nurses prepare to start their nine-hour overnight shifts. They'll be going into the homes of people with a terminal illness across the UK, offering care and support for them and their families.

Sarah Reynolds, the nurse we started this live blog with back at 7am, is getting ready to go out.

"I went to sleep at about 6:05pm and woke up at around 8:40pm. It's not the best sleep I've ever had, but it's been ok. This is my second night of four consecutive night shifts.

"I will shortly be making a courtesy call to the family I'm going to see tonight, just to check that everything is ok and that the situation hasn't changed at all. I've been to this house four or five times over the last month.

"The patient that I'm going to care tonight for has been very poorly for the last few days, so I will be there for the family to talk to them and give them extra support."

Good luck and thanks to Sarah and all our nurses tonight!

Nurses' uniform


Marie Curie Nurse Clare Horgan, who works overnight looking after people with a terminal illness in their own homes, is answering your questions about her work on Facebook at the moment. If you have any questions about life as a palliative care nurse, now's the time!


We've been following our nurses at the Marie Curie Hospice, Liverpool all day, but they're signing off now (although of course work at our hospices carries on 24/7).

Thanks so much from everyone there for following along.

Liverpool hospice nurses


We asked Marie Curie Nurse Tracey Porter (see 5.35pm) for her favourite memories of her time as a palliative care nurse in rural Scotland:

"Just when people say thank you. When they get in touch and say thank you for looking after my mum. You know you’ve done the best you can. You’ve helped people get through difficult times. 

There have been many giggles during the night. Sliding into a ditch on a very dark remote country road and ending up covered in slurry trying to get out the car. Helping round sheep back into their fields."


Marie Curie Healthcare Assistant Tracey Porter

Right near the start of this live blog, at 8am, we caught up with Tracey Porter, one of our rapid response nurses in Dumfries, as she came off shift. 

Tracey's getting ready to go back on tonight, but in the meantime, she's been enjoying some beautiful local scenery to prepare herself:


Thanks so much for following along with this day in the life of our nurses. Hopefully it's given you a good insight into the amazing work they do every day.

There's still a bit more to come as we wait for our overnight nurses to begin their shifts, but in the meantime, if you'd like to support our nurses' work, please consider making a donation. Our nurses can't do what they do without you.


Overnight nurse Sarah (see 4.45pm) has already got her snacks ready ahead of tonight's nine-hour shift. She says: "It's a very long night if you go without anything to eat. Tonight I'm having some celery sticks with a beetroot dip that I made. I also have some fresh fruit and yogurt to go with it.

Sarah Reynolds overnight snacks


Our overnight nurse Sarah (see 8.12am) will be starting to get ready for tonight's shift soon. Once she'd got some sleep after last night's busy nursing shift, this is what she got up to today:


We've been following our clinical nurse specialists in the West Midlands, Tracey and Judith, all day, and they're about to go off shift.

Here's Tracey in the garden at our West Midlands hospice with a message for you:


Now the delivery of blood has arrived from the hospital (see 3.35pm), Staff Nurse Bill Dynes is preparing for the transfusion. Bill joined Marie Curie in October 2015; before that, he was nursing in prisons for 12 years.

Staff Nurse Bill Dynes prepares for a blood transfusion

Bill says the best part of his job is having the time and opportunity to be a "proper nurse" again ("bed, bath, bandages and a cup of tea"). He relishes the chance to sit with patients and learn something about their life:

We might not beat it [the illness], but we will make it better.
Staff Nurse Bill Dynes, Marie Curie Hospice, Liverpool


A volunteer's just arrived at the Liverpool hospice, delivering blood from the local hospital for a patient. They're able to respond really quickly - it's only been a couple of hours since the request went in.


Don't tell anyone, but there's a surprise birthday party happening this afternoon for one of the patients at our Liverpool hospice.

Tony's daughter Nicola and sister Julie (pictured below) explain: 

"[Tony] used to be a carer in a care home and has always been independent. The nurses have been amazing. We were going to all squeeze into his room for his 60th birthday but the brilliant nurses suggested the conservatory so we could deck it all out. They also made it a surprise by pretending he had a doctor's appointment. His face lit up when he saw us all."


Community clinical nurse specialist Tracey Frost is back at our West Midlands hospice after finishing visiting patients at home for the morning (see 1.29pm).

Her next task is catching up with some of the other health and social care professionals based at the hospice, to discuss some of her patients' cases.

Clinical nurse specialist Tracey Frost and occupational therapist Yvonne

Tracey caught up with Yvonne, our occupational therapist, about a patient struggling at home who they're trying to find a bed for at the hospice. She also touched base with our social worker to discuss a patient struggling to accept their diagnosis: "He doesn't want to accept he's dying. He's young – he shouldn't have to."


We've been sharing the kinds of things our nurses do every day – now here's something that doesn't happen every day.

As it's International Nurses Day, the Liverpool hospice is celebrating with tea and cake for all hospice staff, as a thank you from the nurses to everyone else at the hospice who supports them.

Liverpool hospice staff


Nurses going off shift are handing over to those starting work at our Liverpool hospice.

Hand-overs cover everything from patients' physical conditions and medication to how they're feeling emotionally and how their family are doing. 


Remember Sandra from this morning (see 10.04am)? Her husband has been staying in our Liverpool hospice for the last month.

She's popped back in with a load of food and drink to thank the nurses. Thanks Sandra!


Ward Sister Sue confirms details of patient care at regular points with the other nurses at the Marie Curie Hospice, Liverpool. Here they're talking about oxygen levels:

Sue Stirzaker and Bev Bower, Liverpool hospice


Tracey Frost, one of our community clinical nurse specialists, is out visiting patients in the West Midlands. She's popped into a local care home to check on Sarah, who she's known for a number of years.


We've been following Marie Curie Nurses around the country since 7am this morning.

Check out the first half of this live blog, covering 7am until lunchtime.

Meet some of the nurses we're following.