Zena is a Personal Nurse at FSB Care with over 20 years across the NHS and private sector.
Zena specialises in mental health and is passionate about making a difference in people’s life. She has extensive experience in stress, anxiety disorders, depression, substance abuse and dementia.
When not helping FSB members Zena unwinds with long walks, a good film and building her Lego collection.
Tell us about what your average day looks like.
At the start of my day, the nursing team get together for a short meeting to discuss any issues. I start to telephone my patientss around 10.00am. If it is a new patient I check their diagnosis and if it’s unfamiliar, I spend time researching to better understand the situation and assist the patient.
In our team, we have access to specialist nurses who are able to offer detailed knowledge of conditions but wherever we can, we share information and advice so that each member can continue talking to the same nurse.
What kind of issues do you help people with?
A recent referral is for a family whose baby was born with a very rare health condition. The family is struggling to cope as he has complex issues. Before I contacted them, I did lots of research to find out what medical issues they could be experiencing.
His dad has explained that the child needs 24 hour care but they are unsure how to access more support. After a considerable amount of searching and speaking to various organisations I found two that could possibly provide support. I contacted the father and sent him the details of these organisations for him to consider. He finds my calls very comforting.
Another patient has had a serious back injury and would benefit from physiotherapy. Through FSB Care members can access a short course of physio, so I co-ordinated with our physio providers and then emailed the patient to confirm that the physiotherapy is being organised.
He is relieved and is looking forward to the sessions.
Another of my patients has recently been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and during our conversation I explained to her that the MS Society has excellent support groups around the UK. She was very interested and we agreed that I would find a group local to her. Following our conversation I found a centre close to her hometown and sent her the details.
I was also able to organise some therapy for her at that centre, and will continue to keep in touch with her.
I am responsible for sourcing and renewing some of the resources which the nurses send to patients and I work this into my busy day.
What do you like about your job?
I spend a lot of time on the telephone talking to my patients, helping with their problems and providing a listening ear. This is very valuable to people in these busy times and often they say that it is the first opportunity they have had to talk about how they are coping.
My patients often phone in and I am always very happy to talk to them. They call with good and bad news; it is gratifying to know that they trust me and wish to keep in touch.
Being a personal nurse is a very privileged position; people often confide in us, telling us things that they have not spoken about before.
Sometimes they send photos of themselves maybe after treatment or on a fund raising event, or even a picture of the new grandchild or the dog!
Patients are always surprised and pleased to be able to speak to the same nurse (their nurse) every time they call, and to know that I will stay in touch for as long as they wish.
We speak with patients at an extremely difficult time in their lives, so I try to put myself in their shoes and treat them as I would like to be treated.
My days are very busy and provide me with job satisfaction knowing I have been able to provide support for my patients which could make such a difference in their lives.