Marie Curie Nurse Beth

Beth Namara is a Marie Curie Nurse who loves finding ways to connect with the people she cares for – from learning phrases in a new language, to breaking down the barriers that prevent her from giving better care.

Beth Namara

“As a Marie Curie Nurse I care for patients from diverse cultural backgrounds, meeting the needs of the individuals we support. I have learnt basic words in different languages to make the patients feel at home, more relaxed and to have a laugh with them.

“I can now speak basic Italian, a little bit of German, Arabic, French, and a little bit of Spanish. Our nursing team cared for a Russian patient recently, who taught us how to say some basic phrases in her language.

"You can make them laugh or give them a hug"

“People ask us what makes a Marie Curie Nurse different. For me, it’s that you will always see Marie Curie Nurses smiling. I myself am always calm, smiling, and approachable – ready to help the patients, their family and friends, and other healthcare professionals working in partnership with me.

“When we go into a patient’s homes, you find the whole family waiting for us – they know we’re there to provide information about what’s happening, high quality care to their loved one, and emotional support. They grab you, they cry on your shoulder; when we see them, it can be very emotional.

“How you communicate with the family is important too. You can make them laugh sometimes, or give them a hug; sometimes I sing with them if they want me to, as a form of support. I try and make sure the family members look after themselves too; I ask how they’re doing, if they need additional help or information regarding the patient’s care or support for themselves.

Making that connection

“It’s a challenging job, but when I hold their hands and they feel my touch it makes it so much easier to make that connection. They understand that we’re there to make sure the patient is relaxed, comfortable, pain-free, and clean. But sometimes we’ll also need to encourage the patient to let us help.

“I went to see one gentleman who was being cared for by his wife. He was bed-bound and had refused a wash so far. So I came in and told him ‘Your wife wants to come in and give you a kiss – let’s make sure you look good!’ He still wasn’t sure, so I asked him what he wanted us to do that day, and he said that he wanted to go outside. I said ‘OK, let’s get you ready’ and I gave him a shave, a wash, and dressed him. His wife could not believe it; she praised our persuasive approach and the way we convinced her husband to accept personal care.

“It’s happening all over the world, people are dying every day. Every moment spent with our loved ones at the end of life means so much.”

If you'd like to help our nurses continue caring for people living with terminal illness, please consider supporting our nurses with a donation. Just £20 pays for an hour of nursing care, helping people and families make the most of the time they have left.

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