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Hospice Palliative Care Nurses Assist Patients to Live not Die

Katie McGregor, a Mercy Hospice community palliative care nurse, believes she has the best job in the world.

Whilst some may find the idea of providing specialist care to people facing life-limiting illnesses quite daunting, 29 year old McGregor has quite a different view.

"There is nothing more rewarding than seeing a patient journey from a life whose quality is severely affected due to impacting symptoms to a life where pain is managed effectively allowing quality family time and a renewed focus on living not dying. I feel extremely privileged to assist and support patients on this journey," she says.

The annual Hospice Appeal Week, being 12 to 18 May, provides the most significant opportunity to raise awareness about the services Hospice provides. Appeal week also provides Mercy Hospice with the chance to celebrate their palliative care nurses, who care for patients with the utmost professional skill, respect, compassion and quality of care.

Revered by the community, palliative care nurses are deemed to be special people with unique qualities. The Mercy Hospice palliative care approach is holistic, addressing the personís cultural, social, psychological and spiritual needs as well as physical requirements such as managing pain and other distressing symptoms. Working in the community, these healthcare professionals acknowledge how important the comfort of home and the presence of family members is. Hospice supports people to remain as independent and active as possible.

"Itís one of the wonderful parts of my job, seeing the pleasure and sense of self my patients get from being in their own homes. I donít see the work I do as being about death and dying at all. Itís about improving the quality of peopleís lives so they can live to the full. For instance I love it when I call my patients up for an appointment and they say. "Canít see you today Katie, Iím going out," says McGregor.

Community nurses form part of the palliative care service Mercy Hospice provides at no cost to patients and their families regardless of age, ethnicity, means or religion, thanks to the continued generosity of the community. This appeal week Mercy Hospice hopes to raise $150,000 to continue to fund specialist nurses, ensuring the increasing number of patients and families in the Auckland community affected by life-limiting illness continue receiving the care and support they deserve.

Mercy Hospice Appeal Week is 12 - 18 May

Mercy Hospice Auckland is caring for more people than ever before. They need your help. Please donate today by texting Hospice to 5464 or visit www.mercyhospice.org.nz.

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