What’s it like to be a nurse at Rainbows?
Despite having worked with children with disabilities and health conditions for over 25 years, it wasn’t until 39 year old Anne-Marie Murkett, from Quorn in Leicestershire, came to Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People that she found what she had always been looking for.
Having always had an innate desire to help people, Anne-Marie began volunteering with the Red Cross and the Prince’s Trust as a teenager, where she would help take disabled and vulnerable young people on day trips and holidays. It was on one of these activity weekends where she spent time with a newly qualified nurse who encouraged her to follow her dream.
“I know it sounds cliché but I always knew I wanted to help people. Luckily for me I found out quite early on that I was good at it too,” she said. Following six years of studying for qualifications and numerous work placements, Anne-Marie qualified as a children’s nurse. However, as her career progressed, she quickly realised she was getting less and less time working directly with patients. Her responsibilities as a manger soon became priority over patient care.
“I knew I needed a change. So when the opportunity to work at Rainbows came up, I jumped at the chance.”
Based in Loughborough, Rainbows is the only children’s hospice of its kind in the East Midlands. The hospice provides vital care and support for children suffering from terminal and life-limiting conditions, as well as their siblings and families.
Speaking about the care Rainbows offer Anne Marie said, “The patient-led care we get to give at Rainbows is amazing. We follow their lead and are guided by the family. The clinical side often takes a back seat and we let kids be kids. Our community based care focuses on allowing children to have fun, socialise and make the most of the time they have.
“At the heart of Rainbows is a strong person led approach which allows us to accommodate patients based on their individual needs and requirements. It’s not a case of fitting them into our service, it’s the opposite and flexibility is the key.”
Although working in a hospice can be tough at times, Anne-Marie has always felt privileged to work at Rainbows. “You do have to be strong to work here,” she said. “You are helping a family through the toughest time they will ever face. But for me, it’s a privilege to be part of their journey. I feel honoured to be allowed to help them through it. It’s humbling – they put all their trust in you. It’s my job to make mum and dad feel like they’re not just carers, but allow them to be mum and dad again and spend quality family time with their child.”
Now Anne-Marie is the Lead Nurse for Education, Quality and Governance at Rainbows and is the happiest she’s ever been. “Working here at Rainbows allows me to deliver the nursing and care I always dreamed of,” she said. “I know I make a difference every day, I have a purpose. If I can make a small difference, make their day better in the smallest way, then that’s enough for me.”
She was also amazed by the support Rainbows receives from the community. “I’d never worked for a charity before so wasn’t sure what to expect. But the support we receive from the community and our fundraisers is truly amazing. I’m genuinely moved to tears sometimes by the commitment they have to helping us so we can continue to help those families who need our help the most.”
Rainbows regularly has opportunities for nurses and care team members.