In our new feature, Coffee Break, we will be catching up with some of your MS health professionals. Today, we're chatting to Michelle Meehan, who is the new MS Trust-funded MS specialist nurse covering Coventry and Warwickshire.
Hi Michelle! Congratulations on the new role. Can you tell us about your first few months in post?
My first few months in the role have been very interesting and very different from my previous MS nurse role. I have come from a tiny 120-bed private hospital in the west of Ireland to a huge 1,000-bed hospital. My previous team consisted of me and the neurologist and infusion nurses. So it couldn’t be more different.
What are you enjoying most about your new role?
I am really enjoying having a specialist MS multi-disciplinary team of MS nurses, neurologists, neuro-physiotherapists, psychologists, and infusion nurses. I also enjoy the cultural diversity of Coventry. I love the fact the hospital is involved in lots of clinical trials for MS, for example the statins trial and the Ocrevus trial. This really adds to the overall interest in my specialist role.
What has been your highlight so far?
I think the highlight so far has been that this role is purely focussed on people with MS and the care they receive. I love the enthusiasm of all my colleagues and the way they strive for a better service for people with MS in Coventry and Warwickshire.
What was it that made you want to become an MS nurse?
I wanted to become an MS nurse because I love the relationship that you can build up with a person with MS, as they are never discharged from care. You meet them at diagnosis and are with them throughout their journey. In a way it’s a very unique area of nursing where you are always involved in their lives. I could also see the huge developments in research and advancement in drug treatments for people with MS and it is such an exciting area to be involved in.
What would be your main piece of advice for someone newly diagnosed with MS?
My advice is always to remember that MS is a very individual and unique condition and don’t compare yourself with anybody, as everyone is different. Also, take one day at a time!
What support have you received from the MS Trust since starting your post?
I have received excellent support from the MS Trust, particular Megan Roberts and Nikki Embrey. I have been offered a place at the MS Trust Conference and will be attending a development module for MS nurses. We have also had an away day to carry out the business plan and improve the service at Coventry. The support and experience the MS Trust has given has been invaluable.
What do you love most about being a nurse?
The patient contact is what I love most about being a nurse, and supporting them to manage their condition.
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