BBC profiles day in the life of a UCLH nurse 

19/05/2014 00:00 
Life as a nurse on UCLH’s specialist teenage and young adult cancer unit is profiled today by BBC Online.
NUrse with young patient 

Health correspondent Nick Triggle spent a morning with ward sister Louise Baxendale last week on International Nurses’ Day.

Louise is lead nurse for University College Hospital's 18-bed teenage cancer ward, part of the hospital's specialist adolescent unit - the biggest of its kind in Europe.

It means each and every day is spent caring for 13 to 19-year-olds sick, in pain and struggling to come to terms with their condition.

"The thing is you meet patients at all stages of the journey, but you can make a difference to all of them." - Ward Sister, Louise Baxendale.

University College Hospital is a designated hospital for a large number of children and young people diagnosed with a number of different cancers and blood disorders from a wide referral area. The hospital has the largest unit of its kind in the country which is run in partnership with the charity Teenage Cancer Trust.

Louise said: “The patients are such characters and the care you give can make a real difference.

“The thing you have to do is be upbeat. There is no room for negativity. Of course, that can be hard and it is difficult getting it right."

Louise describes how treating three different patients in the course of just one day proves her point.

The first, she says, had just been given a

cancer diagnosis and were scared and upset. In the next room there was a patient at the end of life. They had chosen to die on the unit with their family and the nurses and other health staff they had got to know around them.
But the next room could not have been more different.

The patient was at the end of treatment and planning for a fancy dress party they were going to attend. Understandably, the patient was - in Louise's words - so excited they were "on the ceiling".

"The thing is you meet patients at all stages of the journey, but you can make a difference to all of them," says Louise.

"You have to shape yourself to your patient. You have to get to know them really well to make a difference. I came into nursing to make a difference.
"Sometimes it is just the simple things like tucking them in with a blanket can mean the world."

Click here to read the full article on the BBC News website.

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