Specialist Practitioner Mental Health Nurse
Place of work / study:
Swansea Bay University Health Board / Swansea University
Area of Research:
The triage and assessment of cognition in primary care
How is your work funded?
Employer Swansea Bay University Health Board
Tell us a little about yourself:
I qualified as a mental health nurse nearly 25 years ago. I always had an interest in dementia and wanted to work in the community, where I think the greatest changes can be made. In 2012 I completed a MSc based upon my experiences of caring for people with young onset dementia and I am now nearing completion of a professional doctorate (DProf) in which I have used action research to improve the experiences of people presenting for the first time with memory concerns. I have worked in all areas of mental health and was a community mental health nurse in Merthyr Tydfil for five years before qualifying as a Specialist Practitioner in 2008 and moving to my home town of Aberystwyth, where I helped to establish its first memory clinic. Currently I work in Swansea and have been responsible for building links between primary care and specialist memory assessment services. When I finish the DProf I would like to become an Advanced Practitioner in dementia and I would like to do further research into the role of the dementia support worker and how it is helping to play a key role in implementing Wales’ Dementia Action Plan.
Tell us a fun fact about yourself:
Before deciding to become a nurse at the age of 30 I studied for a degree in politics, lived in Malaga teaching English and worked in a bank in Frankfurt. I briefly became a civil servant before grasping the opportunity to finally do what I always wanted to do; nurse.
I now live Llanelli with my civil partner Nick and our two dogs Oscar and Bron, where we enjoy the fantastic countryside and beaches.
Why did you choose to work in dementia?
I enjoy working in a person-centred way and working in the community brings me into contact with professionals from all disciplines. Dementia is not just the remit of mental health and care should be integrated and personalised at all times.