Hello, my name is Irina Zueva. I am 50 years old and have been working as a nurse on the home care team at BCH since October 2011. There are 25 families on my list and I visit them regularly to check the children’s condition, note any changes and do some basic physiotherapy and I always find time to sit and chat to the mothers. All visits are scheduled and I aim to do two per day.
Meet Hospice Staff
I am a graduate of the Minsk State Medical Institute (nowadays a University) Department of Paediatrics. I got my degree in 1990 and my first job was in a children’s clinic. In 1997, I gained a higher qualification in paediatrics and started working in a children’s polyclinic as deputy to the medical director. In 2004, I became the medical director at that same polyclinic. I also have a degree in management of medical organisations.
When Anna Garchakova, the director of the Belarusian Children’s Hospice, suggested that I should consider becoming director of the new Forest Glade In-patient Service and Day Centre I gave it much thought.
My name is Katerina Pancheko. I was born in 1980 in Slutsk, an attractive small town 100 km south of Minsk and now I live in Minsk with my little daughter, Daria.
I graduated from medical college with a midwifery qualification in 1999 and from then until 2007 worked for the ambulance and emergency medical aid service. A year later, I graduated from a part-time degree course at the Belarusian Tanka Pedagogical Institute as a teacher of psychology.
I have been working at the Belarusian Children’s Hospice (BCH) since 2007.
I think that nursing is one of the noblest of professions. For me it is not just a job, it is a vocation.
When my husband’s military career meant that we had to move to Minsk, palliative nursing was far from my mind but, once I began working at the Belarusian Children’s Hospice (BCH), I quickly realised that the main qualities of a palliative care nurse are kindness and empathy. It was these qualities, not the material side of things, which led me to continue down this career path.
My name is Marina Borisevich and I’m a doctor at the Belarusian Children’s Hospice (BCH).
I started my working career as a paediatrician at the Children’s Hospital in Minsk. Since 2003, I’ve been working at the Children’s Centre for Oncology, Haematology & Immunology in Minsk as a haematologist at the in-patient department where I treat children with different blood disorders and cancers according to international protocols.
In addition, since 2010 I have been working at the Belarusian Children’s Hospice as a pain and palliative care specialist.
I have been working for BCH since early 2011 but my link with the Hospice goes back further than that…
In 2009, thanks to a friend, I became a volunteer at the Belarusian Pedagogical University, under a programme called CHARITY. We volunteered in various places, one of which was the Children's Cancer Hospital. It was there that I met a family who were being discharged to become patients of the Belarusian Children's Hospice. That was how I came across BCH.
Working here brings me much joy. You really get the feeling that you are doing something useful and necessary. The best reward you can have is when you see happiness on the faces of the children and their parents.
Some people may find it odd but the fact is, that for me, my work in the Belarusian Children’s Hospice (BCH) brings satisfaction and a feeling of fulfilment.
I was a doctor with the ambulance service and from time to time we were called out to cases involving terminally ill children. Each time I was at a loss how to help them, I mean to really help them. It was only when I came to BCH that I realised that here they know what to do and that their work makes a real, tangible difference. Palliative medicine is a completely new area of medicine in Belarus and this also makes it an attractive challenge for a young doctor like me although, I have to say, some of the challenges we face are not easy.
I graduated from Minsk University in 1984 as a biology and chemistry teacher. For 25 years I worked for the Zoological Institute in Minsk specialising in ectoparasites and carriers of infectious diseases. Every year from April to October I was to be found wandering around forests collecting specimens. I would spend the winter sitting over a microscope, identifying ticks, fleas and lice. My work took me all over Belarus to national parks and rivers and I even acquired a motor boat driving licence. My completed PhD in the cupboard but it never made it as far as the viva voce. However, during all those years, all I really wanted to do was to work in a kindergarten.
Olga was born in a small village in Brest region and attended high school there. She graduated from Baranovichi Nursing School, also in Brest region, in 2003 and was sent to nurse in the Republican Clinical Hospital for Handicapped Participants of the Great Patriotic War. While working there, she enrolled in the Belarusian State Pedagogical University to learn how to nurse and educate deaf and dumb children. It was during this time that she decided to work full time with children and took a post as a senior nurse in a kindergarten. Here she understood that her vocation was to work with children and for children.
My name is Ludmila Ivanovna Tsyganova and I have worked in medicine for 40 years. I joined the staff at the Belarusian Children’s Hospice in 1995, just one year after it was opened, and am now the longest serving nurse here. Medical technology has moved on considerably during my time at BCH and we constantly seek new skills and expertise to help the sick children in our care. During the last year, I have been trained to care for children who use portable ventilators in their own homes.
Anna Garchakova introduced palliative care to the Republic of Belarus and was the founder of the first children’s hospice in all the countries of the former Soviet Union. Anna was born in Leningrad in 1956. She graduated from Leningrad Medical Nursing School in 1978 and then entered Leningrad State University where she obtained diplomas in biology, chemistry and medical psychology.