I have been an MS specialist nurse for three years. Before me, there was no MS nurse service in this area of Scotland, so I've had the opportunity to create a service that best fits the needs of this remote and rural MS population.
About my role
I work part time as an MS nurse and part time as a Parkinson’s nurse. Both are neurological conditions that affect people very differently - but essentially the principle of supporting people to manage their condition is the same.
My role often involves signposting, acting as a link between GP and neurologist and being a single point of contact for the patient to help them have a more streamlined experience within the health and social care system.
I am hospital based and travel every week to do an outreach clinic and home visits across the health board which is a vast and rural area. It makes sense for me to travel to communities instead of people having to endure a long journey, which could have consequences for fatigue or getting time off work.
On other days, I will be undertaking tasks such as checking blood results of people on disease modifying treatments, referring people to other members of the multi-disciplinary team or providing support on the telephone to patients or their carers. If I don’t see patients every day, then I will definitely be speaking to them on the telephone or via email.
People with MS can feel overwhelmed at times and it is important that they have someone who is knowledgeable and can support them to get the right help when they need it. I think this aspect of my role is very valuable to patients.
There have been numerous advances in the drug treatment options available to people with relapsing MS. As an MS nurse it is necessary to keep up to date with advances so that patients receive the correct information when they are making supported choices. It would be wonderful if there were drugs available to people with progressive MS which would help to protect against future development of disability.
My role is busy and very varied, but I like that I can make a difference for people by ensuring that they get the help and support they need at the right time.