Patricia Aberdeen, who was always known as Abby at the Hospice, talks about her background prior to working at St. Richard’s – from her childhood in Northern Ireland to living on Ascension Island in the South Atlantic Ocean and her return to the UK. She discusses the development of palliative care and the differences between district nursing and working with the hospice. Abby also touches on the day-to-day work of a hospice nurse and the changes that have occurred over the years.
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Abby says she always knew she was going to be a nurse. At the age of three, she was bandaging her pets, and she went straight from school to nursing, training in Belfast and Kent. After many years abroad, Abby and her husband John settled in Evesham where she started working as a district nurse. Abby says that many of her early nursing experiences led her down a pathway towards palliative care, as she explains in the following extract.
Along with many of the nurses and doctors interviewed for this project, Abby believes that one of the most rewarding parts of her job was being able to relieve people’s pain. The invention of the syringe driver, a battery controlled pump which delivered medication, made a huge difference to the care of people who were terminally ill, as Abby explains in this extract.
In this final extract, Abby reflects on some of the most major changes in palliative during her time with St Richard’s.