My job

My job: independent travel health specialist nurse Jane Chiodini

Independent travel health specialist nurse Jane Chiodini explains why specialising in your career can be immensely rewarding.
Jane Chiodini

What is your job?

I am an independent travel health specialist nurse and director of education at the faculty of travel medicine at Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow.

I run my own training business but have also worked part time in General Practice since 1990 advising travellers. My main role is one of teaching, developing and authoring tools and resources on my website for use largely by practice nurses, and more recently developing e-learning material. My role in Glasgow is an honorary one, developing educational meetings and learning materials.

Why did you become a nurse?

By accident. I wanted to be a doctor but coming from a non-medical family, was wrongly advised at school only to discover I didnt have enough qualifications. But with hindsight, I am so pleased this happened.

What might

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Jane Chiodini

What is your job?

I am an independent travel health specialist nurse and director of education at the faculty of travel medicine at Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow.

I run my own training business but have also worked part time in General Practice since 1990 advising travellers. My main role is one of teaching, developing and authoring tools and resources on my website for use largely by practice nurses, and more recently developing e-learning material. My role in Glasgow is an honorary one, developing educational meetings and learning materials. 

Why did you become a nurse?

By accident. I wanted to be a doctor but coming from a non-medical family, was wrongly advised at school only to discover I didn’t have enough qualifications. But with hindsight, I am so pleased this happened. 

What might you have done otherwise?

Something that used my creative side. So, combining my love of musical theatre, I would have enjoyed working in the costumes or backstage, or graphic design. 

How does your current job make use of your skills?

My love of technology means I’m now using social media to reach more nurses and patients alike.  

What do you enjoy most about your job?

Travel medicine is so broad and I’m always learning. One of my favourite topics is malaria prevention. As I work for myself, no two days are the same and I love the variety. Going in to the surgery also provides that sense of teamwork which I also enjoy. 

What has given you most satisfaction?

Teaching and supporting nurses in travel health. Most recently, this is through my website which is a hub of resources including articles and tools for practice nurses who see travellers in their surgeries.

Knowing how stretched they are, if I can develop resources to make life easier, making them not only safer in their role, but improving patient care, then the hours spent doing it are so rewarding. 

What nursing achievements makes you most proud?

I became a Queen’s Nurse last year and was awarded the First Distinguished Nurse Leadership Award of the International Society of Travel Medicine.

In 2006, I was admitted as a founder Fellow of the Faculty of Travel Medicine. Having chosen a portfolio career in travel medicine, I feel proud to have developed, despite not holding a position at an established travel medicine unit. 

What has been your greatest challenge?

Being a patient for treatment for breast cancer. My high professional expectations were not always met and that upset me greatly on behalf of other patients.

I now speak to healthcare professional groups about that patient experience. 

What makes a good community or primary care nurse?

Knowledge and skills are kept up to date with time allowed to attend training. This is really hard for the nurse employed by a GP who may not appreciate the broad scope of the autonomous work a nurse in primary care undertakes. 

In some situations, the nurse is intimidated to ask for the time and provision in which to do this, but it’s vitally important for his/her professional accountability. And I would also always add that care and compassion are paramount. 

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

In travel health this would be prescribing of travel vaccines as many CCGs have decided not to produce PGDs any longer for the travel vaccine portfolio. This is having significant impact on practice with nurses having to get PSDs written before the vaccines are given. This isn’t possible very often within the consultation time. 

Outside work what do you enjoy doing?

I make hand-made greetings cards and have written a quarterly editorial for a card-making magazine for 20 years. I also love swimming and going to musicals.

What advice would give a newly-registered nurse?

Having gained significant general experience, specialising in a subject you love is immensely rewarding. 


Jane Chiodini is an independent travel health specialist nurse 

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