A day in the life of a Victoria Hospice nurse: Aileen Fearman

Compassion definitely brought nurse Aileen Fearman to Victoria Hospice, but also some unique childhood experiences. I wanted to be a nurse ever since I was about fifteen,” Aileen says. “We had eight family members die in one year,” she recalls. “So as an eight year old, I attended lots of funerals, wakes, services.  Even as a kid, to me death seemed just another part of life.”

By grade 10, Aileen was doing shadow shifts with a nurse friend.I remember that pretty vividly,” she says.  One patient she helped was an elderly woman at end of life who was having shortness of breath. Through these experiences, Aileen says, “I was definitely drawn to end of life care.”

Aileen began thinking about Victoria Hospice, and in March 2013 she got a part time job here.  “To me,” she says, “working here is a gift. The people are amazing. They can be going through a very tough struggle, yet they’re still thankful.”

What is a typical day for a Victoria Hospice nurse? “Nothing here is ever typical!” Aileen laughs. “There is a bit of routine.  We come in at 7:30 a.m. and spend time with patient records, learning about each person—where their pain is located and how we’re managing it, who is their family, what the patient needs. We attend to symptoms and medication. We do washes and walks, like going up to the garden. We make sure people are comfortable for the night—if they want to call home, or have a visit, or just have extra medication for sleep.” The main thing, Aileen says, is keeping people’s goals in mind, “figuring out what works best for them.”  Regardless of what happens on a given day at Hospice, Aileen says, “You always go home feeling like you’ve made a difference.”\

Return to Hospice Stories

Quality palliative and end-of-life care for all: Our mission is to enhance the quality of life for those facing life-limiting illness, death and bereavement through patient and family centred care, education, research and advocacy.