In her first blog post Jane Nickels, MacIntyre’s newly appointed Learning Disabilities Admiral Nurse, shares her experience at MacIntyre so far.
Hi, I’m Jane Nickels and I’m going to be writing a blog on a monthly basis about my role in MacIntyre as the UK’s first ever Learning Disabilities Admiral Nurse.
A little about me
I currently live in South Yorkshire with my husband and our two Border Terriers (Bill and Ted). I like gardening and my favourite colour is purple!
I have been a Learning Disability Nurse for over 13 years and have over 28 years’ experience within the care sector. My passion is supporting people with learning disabilities and/or autism. I also have a keen interest dementia, so my post was a dream come true!
My first couple of months with MacIntyre
Okay, so starting a new job in the middle of the pandemic was not on my list of top 10 things to do in 2020. Like everybody else, I was just getting to grips with lockdown and the impact of COVID-19 for my family and friends. One of my first thoughts was what will my new role in MacIntyre look like, especially in the midst of a global pandemic? Well I’ve just started dipping my toe in. I’ve now been with MacIntyre for 8 weeks and when reflecting on this time the first thing that springs to mind is…
I have never Zoomed so much in all my life!
Suddenly I had to start worrying about what had on my walls at home, how often my dogs would start barking or howling whilst I was in the middle of the meeting and to remember to take mute off when trying to talk.
Everyone has been so friendly and welcoming. I’ve met more people over Zoom then I think I ever would have driving round the country. I’ve met frontline managers, area managers, directors, specialists, support staff and people supported by MacIntyre. It has been an experience joining in group chats, webinars, training sessions and meeting my colleagues Rosie and Rachel (virtually of course!).
I’ve had my first ever podcast with Nicola Payne, delivered my first-ever training session via Zoom and experienced my first ever interview with a journalist from the Nursing Standard, for article which will appear in three journals: Nursing Standard, Learning Disability Practice and Nursing Older People.
Sarah Ormston (Health, Dementia and Wellbeing Manager and my line manager) and Victoria Lyons (Senior Consultant Admiral Nurse at Dementia UK) have kept me busy. We have started putting plans together looking at how best I can provide support to people with suspected dementia, diagnosed dementia, their families and staff teams within MacIntyre.
First plan of action was to establish how many people MacIntyre currently support who have a diagnosis of dementia and those suspected to have a dementia. Thank Goodness for MacIntyre’s monster spreadsheet, that’s all I can say. The monster spreadsheet (Needs Analysis Database) has enabled me to find all the information I need in one place which has made my life a lot easier (thank you Donna White). Establishing what the referral criteria will look like and how one person can support so many nationally are just some of the things we have discussed so far.
I like the idea of training support workers who have a passion for dementia to become my links within services, after all, they are the experts when it comes to knowing the people they support. MacIntyre have accredited training programs regarding dementia, which could be offered to any ‘link person’. What a great way to increase your knowledge and it always looks fab for your continuous professional development!
If you’re interested on how the role progresses, then please follow my updates on Twitter @jane_nickels otherwise come back next month for an update.
Learning Disabilities Admiral Nurse, MacIntyre