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Interviews 1: Know us for when you need us…

Introducing Dr Amanda Fitzgerald – Specialist Palliative Care Doctor

What does a day look like for you? 

It starts with a meeting of our interdisciplinary community team, discussing patient/whānau needs. Then I meet with our SPCU team to discuss who might need an inpatient admission. Following that, I see patients in our outpatient clinic and their own homes, usually with one of our amazing community nurses. Some days I cover the inpatient Specialist Palliative Care Unit (SPCU.) I also take phone calls from District Nurses and other doctors/health professionals in need of specialist palliative care advice. No two days are exactly the same!

What is it like working with patients and their whānau in their homes?

It’s an absolute privilege, to be invited into peoples’ homes in order to assist with their care. I feel very honoured to be able to spend this time with my patients and their loved ones.

What’s a myth about hospice services that you would like to dispel?

That Hospice ‘is where people go to die’. I do look after people in their last few days of life, both in the SPCU and in the community, but the majority of the work is about providing symptom management and holistic care earlier in the journey, in a huge variety of settings (home, inpatient Hospice, aged residential care, hospital.) Hospice care is about living life as fully as possible, in the ways that matter most to the person and their whānau.

Nelson Tasman Hospice has launched a Podcast Series – “Know us for when you need us” on YouTube.

These are a series of interviews talking to people that work at, or have been personally impacted by the work of Nelson Tasman Hospice.
A big thank you to Todd Starr & Hannah Tunstall of In A Nutshell for producing our series.
Subscribe to our YouTube channel here.

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