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.
Prior to this, children who needed help to breathe usually had to stay in hospital on a static machine away from their families. More and more of our children need full or partial artificial ventilation and I have been passing the knowledge of how to care for them on to my colleagues. BCH now has several nurses who can look after ventilated children and their special needs. My work and training this year has been funded by a UK charity through Friends of the Belarusian Children’s Hospice and I, the hospice and, above all, the parents of our patients are extremely grateful for this.
I thought you might like to know a bit more about me both professionally and personally so here is my story. I was born in a village called Lapichi in Mogilev oblast, Belarus in 1952 and I spent my school days there. From 1970 to 1972, I trained as a nurse with the USSR Red Cross and Red Crescent. My first job was in the paediatric department at Polyclinic No 8. In 1988 I joined the Fifth Clinical Hospital and nursed in the hyperbaric oxygenation unit. After 7 years in that job, I joined BCH where I have worked ever since. I have continued to undertake more specialist training including a course called Planning Nursing Care for Post-Operative Patients run by the Belarusian State Medical College.
I see my main task as the relief of suffering and the improvement of patients’ lives. I am supported in this by my wonderful family consisting of my husband, daughter and granddaughter. We spend a lot of time together and I derive much of my strength and happiness from them.
I believe that every one of us, from birth, has a calling but not everyone is able to work out this complicated puzzle that life sets us. I have been lucky, I was able to find my calling and I hope that my desire and my strength to continue with my calling will enable me to work for many years to come at the Belarusian Children’s Hospice.