Julie Green Hill is one of our Lymphoedema Advanced Practitioners. She joined St Oswald’s Hospice 8 years ago as a Lymphoedema key worker before progressing to a specialist and then to an advanced practitioner.
Julie previously worked at South Tyneside Hospital and before that, spent time as an Occupational Therapist in Australia, where she trained. Here, Julie explains more about her role and what has attracted her to hospice care.
What attracted you to occupational therapy (OT) as a profession?
OT is a profession that allows you to specialise in a wide variety of health settings. I was attracted to it because it’s person-centered, holistic and we advocate for our patients.
Why did you apply for a role at St Oswald’s Hospice?
St Oswald’s Hospice is the largest Specialist Lymphoedema Service in the North East. Lymphoedema has always been a passion of mine, as has palliative care. It is a pleasure to work for such a well-known and respected charity and we are able to make a significant difference in our patient’s lives and healthcare experience.
Can you explain a bit about your role and what it involves?
In my role as an advanced practitioner, I oversee one of our three Lymphoedema teams and our Lymphoedema Rapid Response Service. My role involves coordinating the care of complex Lymphoedema patients and supporting members of the team.
What impact does the Lymphoedema Service have on patients?
Managing of a patient’s Lymphoedema significantly affects their well-being, mobility, quality of life, independence and mental health. Patients feel safe and supported within our service and we ensure we involve the patients’ loved ones and the wider community healthcare teams to ensure we achieve the best results possible.
What does hospice care mean to you?
I am very proud to be a part of St Oswald’s Hospice and provide specialist care for a wide variety of people from varying backgrounds and with a range of complex health needs. The feedback we get from patients and families is very positive and we also support a number of health professionals in the community.
What do you think is the biggest misconception in hospice care?
That a hospice is only for end-of-life care. Only 10% of my caseload is palliative and many patients have Lymphoedema that is not related to a cancer diagnosis at all. We see patients with a variety of medical conditions of all ages and all backgrounds.