Career Blog: Palliative Care Clinical Nurse Specialist

Michelle sat down to tell us a little about her role, why she chose to work in the NHS, and what a typical day for her looks like.

What is your current role, and why did you choose to work in Health and Care?

I am a Palliative Care Clinical Nurse Specialist. So I help people control their symptoms and pain and contribute to improving quality of life. I’ve always wanted to have a career in nursing.

What skills do you need to do your job?

Good listening skills are critical, as well as good communication skills. I have to be able to adapt to any situation, so being flexible and able to use my own initiative are key. It’s also handy to have good computer skills and record keeping skills.

What is your favourite thing about your current role?

Helping people with their pain, and improving their general quality of life, is the best part of my job. I get to support a wide range of patients, aged 16 years old and above with chronic, longer term conditions. No day is the same. Its rewarding being able to supporting them through difficult times.

What does a typical day look like in your job?

I’d start the day by catching up on emails for the first half an hour. I then plan my visits for the day. I attend various ward rounds, and have meetings and phone calls with family members. I look at new referrals for help with complex family dynamics and emotional support.

What advice would you give someone looking to join the NHS?

It’s a professional career! You need to not be afraid of hard work, or give up . Nursing gives you the satisfaction of knowing you have made a difference to someone. It’s challenging but worth it in the end.