Five Things I've learnt from nursing the dying by Kimberley St John.

By Kimberley St John   Palliative care nurse

By Kimberley St John
Palliative care nurse

  1.  We take our health for granted. I am so grateful to be able to run up the stairs.

  2. Music, touch, scents and tastes are often the most effective way of communicating with people who are very close to death. The little things matter.

  3. Most people don’t have fancy bucket lists. For many it’s being at home or having fish and chips.

  4. It’s important to think about what you would or wouldn’t want at the end of your life. I know that I wouldn’t want intensive treatment if it wouldn’t help me. I have written it down and told my family in case they have to make decisions for me.

  5. Don’t delay anything that is important to you. I have known people to put off marriage, a special trip, making up with a relative. None of us know how much time we have. Use it wisely. 

Kimberley St John

About Kimberley St John
Kim is a palliative care nurse and the lead for Let's talk: Transforming end of life care conversations at Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust and the Second Conversation, a collaboration with the Royal College of Physicians. Her work focuses on communication in end of life care and includes medical education, patient information and public engagement. Kim is passionate about person centered care and is a champion of Namaste Care, a sensory based care model for people with advanced dementia.