Twenty years of being there for patients and their loved ones

Christmas is a very special time at Trinity for our patients and their families. This year it’s also going to be a very special Christmas for one member of the team working on the inpatient unit.

After 21 years of working at Trinity, Healthcare Assistant Indiana says this will be her last Christmas at the hospice as she plans to retire shortly after. Indiana has worked an impressive 17 out of her 21 Christmases with Trinity, and 2022 will mark her 18th.   

A nurse standing smiling

When Indiana started back in 2001, Robbie Williams was at the top of the charts with his Christmas number 1. Since that first Trinity Christmas, she recalls how times have changed since then:  

“I remember in the beginning, Christmas lunch used to be cooked and put on a hot trolley. This would come up to the ward and would be plugged in and then you’d serve the patient from that. Since we opened the newer inpatient unit, the meals are now served straight from the kitchen, meaning you can spend more time with the patients.”

When asked why she has wanted to work so many Christmases’ Indiana describes the day as “being fun, being here with the families and her colleagues,” and goes on to explain with her own children grown up, her celebrations with them come at the end of her shift.

Over the years, Indiana has seen a lot of families coming together to mark Christmas day. A day of mixed emotions. For some, it may come with sadness at the likelihood that it will be their last, for others the happy atmosphere that the staff and families collectively create, the sense of love, and togetherness is their overriding memory of the day.

 “A few years ago, we had a patient upstairs and I remember on Christmas day his wife and daughters came over to have Christmas dinner with him. We pushed his bed out to where the big table is by the nurses’ station and all the staff were singing carols. He and his family joined in, and we all sat and ate together. It was like being with your own family, we all just joined in together. You get some good times here at Christmas.”

Christmas past - Indiana, (pictured left) with colleagues has made the day special for many families in previous years

After 21 years of doing the job she always wanted, Indiana feels it is time for her to retire, describing her 18th Christmas as very special.

“I’ve loved looking after patients and their families, you’re looking after people the way you would like to be looked after if you ever reach that stage in life. I came to Trinity because I wanted to look after terminally ill people. If I had a few more years to work I would stay here.”

Trinity is open 365 days a year ensuring continuity of specialist palliative care across Christmas and beyond for patients, thanks to our committed and caring staff working on the inpatient unit and throughout the community.

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