We talk to Jenny Wright, Parkinson’s nurse specialist at Nottingham University Hospitals Trust, who has been a nurse for 28 years.
Why did you decide to become a nurse?
My mum was my inspiration. She developed cancer when I was 15 years old. Sadly, she passed away last year.
Where did you train?
King’s College Hospital, London.
What was your first job in nursing?
Staff nurse in diabetes, haematology and oncology on the RD Lawrence ward at King’s.
What is the trait you least like in yourself and why?
Hoarding. There’s always a reason not to throw something away. My job-share colleague despairs as our desk is always organised chaos.
From whom have you learnt the most in your nursing career and why?
I am continuously learning with valuable networking with specialist nurse peers in Parkinson’s, my multidisciplinary team colleagues at Nottingham and from the open door policy to access to movement disorder consultants. Parkinson’s is complex and affects people in different ways; patients’ experiences and individual concerns are a valuable, insightful resource to develop my learning. It is a privilege that they willingly putting their trust in you.
What advice would you give someone starting out in the profession?
To treat people with care, compassion, dignity and respect in the same regard as you would expect and want your own family to be treated.
What keeps you awake at night?
I’m too tired to stay awake, except during exceptionally hot weather.
What’s the most satisfying part of your job?
Maintaining, where possible, patients’ independence and quality of life. Working with a fantastic team and having the support, willingness and encouragement of our local members - patients, carers and supporters - of Parkinson’s UK.
What’s your proudest achievement?
Winning the Nottingham University Hospitals Trust and Nottingham Post’s specialist Parkinson’s nurse award and becoming a parent.
What do you think will change nursing in the next decade?
An ageing population with complex and challenging needs.
Which job would you have done if you hadn’t become a nurse?
What job would you like to be doing in five years?
Developing further in this one.
What do you think makes a good nurse?
Compassion, respect, listening and communication skills.
If you could change one thing in healthcare, what would it be?
Government politics. All parties should unite when it comes to the NHS to provide the most effective, efficient, valuable service.
What would your ideal weekend involve?
A walk along the Norfolk coast, good food and a bottle of wine in the company of friends.
If you could spend an hour in someone’s company, who would it be and why?
My mum. I miss her.