A DAY IN THE LIFE OF…Complementary Therapist Jill Lyon

We have two Complementary Therapists employed by the Hospice offering Aromatherapy, Reflexology, Indian Head Massage, Hopi Ear Candling and Reiki.

Jill Lyon

Jill came to the Hospice as a volunteer in 2000 for 18 months then left and returned in 2011. She works full-time as a Complementary Therapist providing therapies for patients and those people important to our patients.

March 2017

8.30am I start the day by going through our waiting list and checking if any new referrals have come in.

8.45am The Inpatient Unit (IPU) has a morning handover which I attend. I speak to one of the staff nurses about a request for some aromatherapy blends for a couple of patients on the ward, take details and arrange the blends.

9.30am I set up the therapy room with fresh towels, put the lights on and music to make a warm and inviting environment for my first patient of the day.

10am My patient has been referred to me by one of the Hospice Nurse Specialists who care for patients in their own homes rather than in the Hospice building. She has been feeling stressed and emotional, isn't sleeping and is finding it difficult coping with changes in her illness which make her feel worse. Whenever I see a new patient I carry out a consultation to learn a bit about them and discover which treatments will benefit them the most. Patients can feel a little apprehensive coming in for the first time so I try to put her at ease and after the consultation offer her a mini taster session. We try Reiki and she becomes deeply relaxed. Before she leaves I create an aromatherapy stick just for her to take home. I give these to patients to help them deal with issues such as nausea or anxiety. I advise her when she's stressed to inhale the scent deeply and then exhale three times.

11am I have a cancellation which means I can catch up with some admin including sending letters to patients on the waiting list and mixing or blending oils and creams for patients.

12.15pm Lunch

12.45pm I see a patient who is very stressed and has been referred to me by the Hospice Nurse Specialist team. This is her third appointment. She finds the treatments very peaceful and that they calm her down.

1.45pm I have an appointment to see a patient on the Inpatient Unit who has breathing problems and is feeling very tense. I offer her a gentle aromatherapy hand massage which helps her to fall asleep and her breathing eases. While I'm doing this I talk to the patient's daughter and discover she would like to try a treatment. We do offer complementary therapies to those people important to our patients so afterwards I speak to nursing staff on the Inpatient Unit about referring the patient's daughter to me for appointment later in the week.

I love my job, I'm so proud to be working here. If you can make a little bit of a difference to help someone to relax, it's a wonderful thing to be able to do it.

2.30pm I make some phone calls, answer emails and prepare oils and massage creams for patients.

3pm I have been asked to speak to patients who are receiving bereavement support about relaxation, self-care using breathing techniques and to introduce them to aromatherapy sticks. I show them how to give themselves a calming hand massage and where pressure points are on their hands. They can press these points without other people realising and it will help to stabilise them when they are feeling anxious. I create aromatherapy sticks for each of them and we do some meditation. All of these techniques can be drawn upon when they are at home or out and about and are finding it difficult to cope with a situation.

4pm At the of the day I go back to the office to make phone calls and make any remaining oil or cream blends I need for the next day.


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