What’s it like to work in a hospice?

Marie Curie Staff Nurse Helen Bowen says the best thing about working in a hospice is playing a part in maintaining or giving back someone’s dignity as they reach the end of their life.

“I think there are a lot of myths around what hospices are like. Sometimes people can feel very anxious before coming in. But they’re often pleasantly surprised and say they didn’t think it would be like this.”

People want to come back again

"The hospice is a really friendly, calm and welcoming place.

“After coming in for the first time, a lot of people say they want to come to back to us for treatment, rather than go back to hospital.

“Sadly that’s not always possible, but we try our best to accommodate people. When they come back for their second visit, our patients often say they’re happy to be back.”

Helen’s journey from hospital to hospice

“Before I started at Marie Curie, I worked as a trauma nurse for over five years with fracture patients, in a team of two.

“It was a very different role to what I do now with different challenges.”

“My favourite thing about working at the hospice is maintaining or giving back someone’s dignity during their stay and at the end of their lives.”

When illness threatens your dignity

“Our dignity is something that we all often take for granted. But when it’s at risk or being taken away from us by disease and medical treatment, the impact on the person or the family can be devastating.

“That’s why I find it so rewarding to be here to support people as they reach their final days, as well as their loved ones.”

See inside a hospice with Helen

Helen hosts a video tour of the Marie Curie Hospice, West Midlands in 360 degrees. In the film, she shows you all around the hospice – from the patient rooms and treatment areas to the café and gardens.

If you're watching on a computer, you can click around to see up, down and all around each room. If you're watching on mobile, play the video in full screen mode on the YouTube app, and move the phone around to explore. Make sure you have the sound on, so you can hear what Helen has to say, too.

Find out more about how a hospice can help, or if you're inspired by Helen, learn about our different nursing roles and see if you could join us.