My job

Dare to dream

Jane Scullion, nurse consultant, joint regional clinical respiratory lead for the East Midlands and published children’s author, embraces any opportunity that comes her way. 
Jane Scullion

Jane Scullion, nurse consultant, joint regional clinical respiratory lead for the East Midlands and published childrens author, embraces any opportunity that comes her way

What is your job?

I am respiratory nurse consultant at University Hospitals of Leicester and joint regional clinical respiratory lead for the East Midlands.

I work in the hospital running my own clinic for breathless patients, usually chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or asthma, and supporting patients with chronic disease. I am also part of the interstitial lung disease multidisciplinary team and work in the clinic alongside my medical colleagues. Until I reduced my hours, I also worked with people in their own homes.

Regionally, my colleague and I try to reduce variations in respiratory care by supporting general practice, and aiding secondary care to provide the best respiratory care they can.

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Jane Scullion, nurse consultant, joint regional clinical respiratory lead for the East Midlands and published children’s author, embraces any opportunity that comes her way 


Respiratory nurse consultant Jane Scullion

What is your job?

I am respiratory nurse consultant at University Hospitals of Leicester and joint regional clinical respiratory lead for the East Midlands.

I work in the hospital running my own clinic for breathless patients, usually chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or asthma, and supporting patients with chronic disease. I am also part of the interstitial lung disease multidisciplinary team and work in the clinic alongside my medical colleagues. Until I reduced my hours, I also worked with people in their own homes.

Regionally, my colleague and I try to reduce variations in respiratory care by supporting general practice, and aiding secondary care to provide the best respiratory care they can.

Why did you become a nurse?

After university, I worked as a clerical officer for the tuberculosis contact service and I decided I wanted to be like the TB nurse there. She seemed to have an easier job than I did, although I had never previously any ambition to nurse. It was an eye-opener, but I can’t imagine wanting to do anything else.

What might you have done otherwise?

I would have been a writer. Last year, I published my first children’s book, The Tale of a Mary Chris Mouse.

Where did you train?

At Charles Frears School of Nursing in Leicester and remember at the interview we were weighed. Not in case we were overweight, but because if you were underweight, you weren’t allowed to train until you fattened up. I am not sure that would always be the case nowadays.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

It’s always been the people and their stories. Whether in their own homes or in the clinics, there is so much life out there and we should never see just the disease or condition and not the person.

I’ve met athletes and couch potatoes, a man living in poverty who had a Stradivarius violin, comedians and people experiencing severe depression. Everyone has a ‘something’ and our job is to find it.

What is your greatest challenge?

To try to not accept any more challenges. There always seems to be the next goal. I’m just an old-fashioned girl who, in the words of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Oklahoma!, can’t say no.

What has given you most satisfaction?

That I will finish my working life as a nurse. I wasn’t the most compliant nursing student and didn’t wear my uniform correctly.

What nursing achievement makes you most proud?

Perhaps being the first respiratory nurse consultant, followed closely by my award for meritorious service from the British Thoracic Society.

What or who inspires you, and why?

Those who not only talk the talk, but also walk the walk. I have many inspiring colleagues, most of whom have become friends.

Outside work what do you enjoy doing?

I have an old VW camper van so I am discovering the freedom of the road – albeit at a slow pace due to her age and air-cooled engine. I also love gardening – although I would say I am enthusiastic rather than good.

What makes a good community or primary care nurse?

Believing that you can make a difference – that and a strong bladder.

What advice would give a newly registered nurse?

Dare to dream, but take the opportunities.

How does your job make use of your skills?

I work autonomously and, as well as the clinical workload, I am involved in service development, research, teaching and education.

What is likely to affect nurses working in primary care over the next 12 months?

Work pressures, lack of funding, discontented medical colleagues, yet another winter crisis and an inadequate pay rise.

 

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