Caroline is Queen of Hearts at St Bede's

Posted on Tue, 02/05/2017 by Caroline Murray, Housekeeper, St Bede's Unit

Caroline Murray

From the Queen of Hearts to the King of Rock and roll – St Bede’s Caroline Murray is passionate about bringing smiles to the faces of patients and their families.

I started working at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in 1991 as a domestic assistant on Ward 17. I really enjoyed my role, however in 1999, I became a bank healthcare assistant so that I could spend more time with patients. In 2003, I became a housekeeper on Ward 17 and Ward 11 whilst still remaining on the nurse bank. I then moved to St Bede’s, the QE’s palliative care unit, where I have been for the last four and a half years.

On a morning, I greet all the patients and open their curtains for them. I then go around with the breakfast menu and see what they would like, including offering relatives refreshments if they have stayed overnight with their loved ones. I then serve the meals and take them to the patients ensuring they are sat up properly to eat and drink.

After breakfast, I do my general housekeeping duties, which consists of stocking the rooms up with bed linen and personal care necessities and ensuring the working environment is clean and tidy and safe. I then ask the patients if they would like anything from the shop and go and get whatever they need.

 

“I thoroughly enjoy spending time with patients and chatting with them”

 

When I get back, I spend time sitting with the patients and make them a cup of tea. I might put some music on and we’ll have a bit of a sing-song. I also make sure the coffee room is well stocked with tea and coffee and biscuits and spend time chatting with relatives if they want to talk to try and take their mind off things.

 A lot of the relatives of our patients like to come back to the unit after their loved ones have passed away. They may just pop in for a chat, a cup of tea and some cake and we always love to see them.

 

“Patients and their relatives are unbelievably generous”

 

I enjoy organising lots of events on the unit like cake sales and raffles to raise money for QE Charitable Funds, the hospital's charity.

People are unbelievably generous and are constantly bringing me in raffle prizes or dropping off cakes. On Valentine’s Day, we had a cake day and I decorated the room with hearts and last year we held an Elvis Day – as everyone here knows I am a huge Elvis fan!

I love getting dressed up and have built-up quite a costume collection thanks to my sister who is a dressmaker - from Elvis, to the Queen of Hearts, Santa’s elf and Morticia Adams.

Working on St Bede’s can be challenging and emotionally difficult at times due to the nature of the environment but it is also very rewarding.

I thoroughly enjoy spending time with patients and am passionate about making the ward a pleasant environment to stay in. 

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