Roald Dahl children's epilepsy nurse specialist Michelle talks about why she feels privileged to have a job that she loves.
Michelle has been working as a Roald Dahl paediatric epilepsy specialist nurse since 2011. She works in Edinburgh and the Lothians and along with her colleague, cares for around 900 children with epilepsy.
Epilepsy can be a complex and long-term condition and having access to a specialist nurse is crucial in helping to improve quality of care for the children and families affected. Every day brings news challenges for Michelle. She says, "My role always involves me building upon my knowledge, learning new skills, meeting new people and being able to adapt depending on the needs of my patients and families."
An important part of Michelle's role is to increase awareness of epilepsy, as there are many misconceptions about the condition. Michelle helps children with epilepsy realise that they can lead a normal life and achieve their dreams.
As a result of Michelle working closely with families in her care, she has built strong relationships, enabling families to feel able to ask questions and advice. As part of her role, Michelle will also work within the community, visiting schools and can also be seen developing new policies, providing counselling and supporting families who have just received a diganosis. No day is the same for Michelle but she enjoys being kept on her toes.
As part of the Roald Dahl nurse training programme, Michelle receives support from Roald Dahl's Marvellous Children's Charity and has attended conferences to help further her education and development. Michelle says that being a Roald Dahl nurse is about making a difference to families' lives. One of the families she cares for couldn't agree more, they said, "If this post did not exist, our stress levels would absolutely rocket and it would be unthinkable."