Patient view

‘My clinical nurse specialist knows how to help me cope’

Rheumatology nurse Joanne King takes pride in the service she runs and shows an interest in every individual, says patient Sue Torr.

Rheumatology nurse Joanne King takes pride in the service she runs and shows an interest in every individual, says patient Sue Torr

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Sue Torr with clinical nurse specialist Joanne King.

Joanne King is such a lovely, caring person, and it means a lot as a patient when you’re cared for by someone like that.

I have rheumatoid arthritis, along with osteoporosis, osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia. I go to Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust every week for an injection of the anti-rheumatic drug methotrexate, and every month for an infusion of tocilizumab. Quite often Joanne, a clinical nurse specialist in rheumatology, is there with me. She is very easy to talk to – and she listens.

When I have my infusion there are seven of us in the room, so I don’t speak on a personal level much during that time. But Joanne is always happy to speak to me individually in another room if I have questions, which I sometimes do.

She isn’t overbearing, in that she doesn’t tell me what to do, but gives me advice and information.

Understanding

The methotrexate makes me feel sick but Joanne always advises me on what medication I can take. She also understands when I have infections and knows what action to take.

Some nurses just go straight to the consultant for this kind of thing, but Joanne has the skill and knowledge to understand the symptoms and my needs, and make decisions herself. She takes responsibility, and it’s reassuring that I have someone close by who understands my history.

I have seen how Joanne is with other new patients: when they walk in some are terrified, but she sits with them and helps them to understand what is going to happen. Joanne takes prides in the service she runs, and shows an interest in every individual patient.

Her service is welcoming, whether it’s the first time you’ve been there or you’ve been coming for years. The atmosphere is good and nothing is too much trouble for Joanne and the healthcare team that works with her.

I don’t know how I would cope without her.

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