My job

My job: paediatric diabetes specialist nurse

Thirty-four years working as a nurse can have its challengers, but for diabetes specialist Carol Metcalfe there is still fun to be had in her role.

Thirty-four years working as a nurse can have its challenges, but for diabetes specialist Carol Metcalfe there is still fun to be had in her role.

What is your job?

I am a lead paediatric diabetes specialist nurse at East Cheshire NHS Trust, Macclesfield District General Hospital in Macclesfield, Cheshire. I am a non-medical prescriber whose role involves supporting and educating children, young people and their families with diabetes. This includes working in primary and secondary care locations such as hospital wards, schools, youth groups and with our family support group.

I develop local policy and guidelines to enhance care for our patients and families and have an active role in research. I also represent paediatric diabetes at national and regional level influencing policy. I act as a diabetes resource for the Trust for all staff.

What do you enjoy

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Thirty-four years working as a nurse can have its challenges, but for diabetes specialist Carol Metcalfe there is still fun to be had in her role.

What is your job?

I am a lead paediatric diabetes specialist nurse at East Cheshire NHS Trust, Macclesfield District General Hospital in Macclesfield, Cheshire. I am a non-medical prescriber whose role involves supporting and educating children, young people and their families with diabetes. This includes working in primary and secondary care locations such as hospital wards, schools, youth groups and with our family support group.

I develop local policy and guidelines to enhance care for our patients and families and have an active role in research. I also represent paediatric diabetes at national and regional level influencing policy. I act as a diabetes resource for the Trust for all staff.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I consider myself fortunate to hold a post where I work with children, young people and families and have a role in developing services and influencing practice. This is where specialist nursing comes into its own. You are able to combine some management, service development and maintain patient contact all in one role.

What is your greatest challenge?

Juggling all the above, completing an MSc in two years and doing voluntary work for Diabetes UK.

What has given you most satisfaction?

When I see young people master their diabetes and overcome tough times and knowing that I have been able to support them at this time.

What nursing achievement makes you most proud?

That I am still a nurse in the NHS after 34 years and still enjoy my work. I am also proud that I was accepted to be a guideline development member and specialist committee member for the recent NICE guidelines for children and young people who have diabetes.

This year, I was appointed to the Healthcare Council of Diabetes UK to advise on paediatric diabetes. Recently, I was asked to speak at the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Diabetes regarding care for children and young people living with the condition.

Outside work what do you enjoy doing?

The past two years has been taken up with my MSc as an Advanced Diabetes Educator, so my social life has been on hold. However, I am an enthusiastic motorcyclist and love riding my 900cc café racer to meet up with friends and camping weekends. As you have to concentrate on the road, you cannot think of work so it’s a real escape. I also like baking and reading – although not text books all the time.

What makes a good community or primary care nurse?

The ability to communicate with people at all levels and be completely non-judgemental about their lifestyles. We can educate and advise, but at the end of the day it is their condition and their own pressures that effect the way the condition is managed. We need to continue to support and help them work around their barriers.

What advice would give a newly-registered nurse?

Never give up on a patient. Even when they are not taking medication or following advice, keep the communication flowing as it may take months or years. Sometimes you may think a patient is not gaining anything from your interventions, but experience has shown me that people will take what they need at that time. Even small amounts may be of great help to the person.

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

I fear for the future of the NHS. Private enterprises are taking over individual services and I have concerns we will lose national initiatives and our collective strengths. Nurses need to have a strong voice, be involved, have consistency and maintain their professional identity for the future.

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