Opinions

Collected Stories: Being Cared for at Home

Written by: Dr Julie Green RN, Interim Associate Dean for Learning and Teaching, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences Keele University
and Paula Wood, Professional Lead for Adult Nursing, Nursing Directorate, Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Julie and Paula discuss their new book which raises the profile of community nursing, featuring a chapter from our UK Lead Tommy Whitelaw.

The ‘Collected Stories: Being Cared for at Home’ book was developed as a collaborative project between Julie Green and Paula Wood.

The collection of stories aims to raise the profile of nursing in a community setting and highlights the breadth and complexity of the care delivered in this complex and often isolated environment. It provides an insight into patient and carer experiences of the District Nursing Service and also includes some reflections from nurses who provide care in this environment.

The stories have been collated, illustrated and are presented to demonstrate the rich tapestry that is ‘District Nursing.’ Reflection and learning points have been included to encourage use of the book as a resource to enhance both pre and post registration health care programme delivery. An electronic copy of the book can be found online here (this link will take you away from our website).

Our lead story was provided by Tommy Whitelaw, entitled ‘My name is Tommy and I cared for my wonderful mum, Joan.’ The story details Tommy’s journey caring:

‘For five years I was the full-time carer for my kind, beautiful and magnificent Mum. I cared for her, at home, until she sadly passed away in September 2012. My Mum had vascular dementia. This is my story.’

This story is followed by a further 18 stories, each capturing the variety of care experiences and significant life events that are supported in the community environment on a daily basis. The importance of the role of nurses who work in a community setting is positively highlighted and a range of significant learning points are suggested for further exploration and discussion. Illustrations have been provided by Laura Green, a student at Manchester Metropolitan University, and these serve to bring the emotive stories to life.

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