Being a BLF Nurse is really rewarding
Donna says being a BLF Nurse helps her support people more effectively.
I'd become a specialist respiratory nurse a year earlier, after working on a respiratory ward, and as a community nurse. My role now means I get to deliver a pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) programme and telehealth service - as well as visiting people at home and supporting the Breathe Easy group.
I'm really proud to be a part of the Gloucestershire respiratory team - we've been celebrating recently after being awarded 'team of the year' at our local NHS trust's staff awards ceremony.
Our team works with people with lung conditions in a number of ways, such as urgent assessments (within 3 days), support for when they're fit enough to leave hospital and home oxygen assessments, as well as outpatient clinics, specialist respiratory telehealth and PR.
Recently, we've started working with other respiratory nurses and physiotherapists in the area to make sure everyone has coordinated care at every stage.
Being a BLF Nurse
Being a BLF Nurse has given me the opportunity to get involved with study days, as well as the opportunity to network and share best practise with other nurses.
Over the years I've had a really interesting journey, learning about lots of things - from cognitive behavioural therapy to end of life care. These have been incredibly useful, and I've been able to work with local psychological therapists to deliver a talk about the physical and emotional aspects of breathlessness, as part of our PR programme. We also explore how anxiety and how adrenaline can play a part.
Working with the BLF has opened up lots of opportunities for me to progress as a practitioner, developing my skills, and to support the local Breathe Easy groups the best I can. The Forest of Dean group is still going strong after 4 years. There have been highs and lows, but we've always pulled together. The strength of characters that have made the group so successful has really spurred me on to help others around the country.
My team always tries to promote the BLF to the people we help. We give them information booklets, to let them read more about their condition, as well as making sure they have the BLF Helpline number to hand, which is so useful.
I'm really proud to be a BLF Nurse, as what we do together - both locally and across the UK - is invaluable. All my strength and determination comes from the people I support.
Making a difference to people with lung conditions, as well as their carers, means so much to me. Being a BLF Nurse is challenging - but very, very rewarding.