AS part of Nurses' Day celebration, CIARAN GOLD speaks to a District Nurse to learn more about challenges she faces in her job.

Sister Elizabeth Roofe, 53, is the district nurse team manager at the Laurel's Healthy Living Centre, in St Ann's Road, Tottenham. She manages a team of 16 nurses and together they provide home care for south east of Haringey.

Sister Roofe has worked in Haringey for 26 years and as a community nurse for the past 20 years.

"There is no typical day," she said.

"We do everything from terminal and palliative care to office work and looking after patient's wounds."

Along with taking blood and prescribing dressings for patients, the role also includes giving advice and support for carers looking after a loved one in the last days of a patient's life.

Mornings are the busiest for the team, as they conduct most of their home visits during this time.

Sister Roofe said: "Many people no longer want to go to hospital for treatment. It's so nice giving people care in their own home. There is also a reduced risk of infection."

Small homes and high rise flats can make providing care more of a challenge. Also, not everyone who receives care at home is as grateful, but Sister Roofe insists this isn't a big problem.

She added: "Really, the risk is very small. I've never been threatened or hurt. The threat is very minimal.

"We always carry out a risk assessment before we make a visit, so we can send two people if we need to."

Despite the difficulties she encounters, Sister Roofe knows her team's work is appreciated by those receiving care. In some cases, too much.

She said: "Some of the patients don't want to get rid of you at the end of their treatment. If their wounds are healing they will make them worse.

"People are lonely and a visit from a district nurse provides them with company."

Sister Roofe added: "I love my job. It's brilliant."