Nurse working in the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh graduates with a certificate in palliative care

Carol Ann Smith, who works in an acute surgical ward in the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, recently graduated with a certificate in palliative care. The funding for her course, which is organized by St Columba’s Hospice and Queen Margaret University Edinburgh, was provided by PATCH.

PATCH aims to enhance the palliative care skills of nurses working in acute wards in hospitals. If more than one nurse in the ward has such additional training, it will help spread palliative care practice in areas where the busy pace plus complex decision making, can make the delivery of palliative care challenging.

Carol has kindly provided us with feedback about her experience in studying the course.

I have been a nurse for 28 years, first as an enrolled nurse then bridging to staff nurse. During my time nursing I have developed a keen interest in caring and supporting patients and families who need palliative care. Recently I reached out to PATCH to help me fund a palliative course at queen Margaret university. Being an “old fashioned” nurse who trained before the degree courses began I took on the course with some trepidation! However I managed to return their kindness by passing my exams and gaining a post graduate certificate in palliative care.

Caring for a patient who needs end of life care while in a busy hospital ward is a very real challenge, one seen every day of the week in the acute surgical and medical wards of the hospital. Being able to increase my knowledge and skill enough to give best care to those important group of patients was paramount to what I was able to do as a nurse.

Being able to carry on the information and teach those skills to the next generation of nurses was even better.

The support I received from PATCH to achieve these goals have fuelled the fire for me to continue with more study, has given me a renewed sense of purpose and has even paved the way for new beginnings in my career.

I would like to thank and all those involved in PATCH for their kindness and support.

Carol-Ann Smith