The vital role of a nurse at Very Special Kids House

May 10, 2024

Very Special Kids House could not operate without our incredible team of frontline nurses.


Their warmth, compassion and clinical expertise has helped many sick kids feel right at home during a respite stay at the hospice; it has also offered many parents the vital reassurance that their child is in safe hands.


This International Nurses Day, we’d like to thank our nursing team for their unwavering commitment to help children and their families live the best quality of life until the very end.


We’d love to introduce you to a few members of our team, who have brought knowledge and experience from all corners of the world. They share their thoughts and experience of being a nurse.

Note: Catherine has had the unique experience of being a registered nurse and a family support practitioner at Very Special Kids. In her current role, she provides counselling support to families in the Western District. 

What does being a nurse mean to you?

“To me, being a nurse means doing something meaningful; working closely with a team to bring out the best in children, by embracing their strengths and abilities, and advocating for them when needed.” – Chloe

“Empowering and advocating for my patients when they cannot do it for themselves.” – Drasti

“Being a nurse means to be deeply empathic to the human experience and it is a part of who I am as a human being…It is incredibly important to me.” – Catherine

Why did you choose to specialise in paediatric palliative care?

“Palliative care means we have time to focus on [a child’s] quality of life, their comfort and on the things that children like to do the most, such as cuddles, sharing jokes, cooking or playing video games…I come to work hoping I can make a little difference in a child’s day, by supporting them in their most vulnerable moments of life.” – Chloe

“I think there is a special kind of peace that comes with being able to support people at the end of the circle of life. Specialising in paediatric palliative care meant that I got to expand on that skillset and be there for families and children during what I imagine would [be] their most vulnerable times. For me, that’s what making a difference in this world is about; being able to help and nurture people when they need it the most.” – Drasti

“Working in paediatric palliative care, has been a deeply important part of the impact I hoped to make on the world, ever since hearing Sister Margaret speak about Very Special Kids back in my school assembly at secondary school when I was just 14 years old!” – Catherine

What are common misconceptions people have about your job?

“I often hear, “It must be so sad or so depressing to work there”. Yes, we sometimes deal with grief and sadness, but I see the hospice as a warm and happy place. There is always fun activities happening, music playing, smiles and laughter – from children and from staff!” – Chloe

“That my job is sad and gloomy, because palliative care only means to deal with death and despair, which is highly inaccurate.” – Drasti

“I feel there are fewer misconceptions now, from what I have seen evolve over my ten years within this role as a family support practitioner at Very Special Kids. As a specialist paediatric palliative care organisation, we can provide a space for difficult conversations and an opportunity for clinicians and families to come together for growth and knowledge sharing. The work being done by teams across Victoria is wonderfully collaborative and a deep privilege to be a part of.”