A day in the life of an Admiral Nurse

Find out what it’s like to be an Admiral Nurse from Liz and Ruth. Liz works as a Community Admiral Nurse and Ruth is an Admiral Nurse in a hospital. They share what a day in the life looks like for them, supporting people affected by dementia.

Liz Tomlinson
Community Admiral Nurse 

Just like with dementia, no two days are the same in the life of a Community Admiral Nurse. I love facing new challenges every day to ensure that no family is alone on their journey through dementia.  

Being an Admiral Nurse is not just about supporting the person living with dementia – it’s about supporting the whole family. Building up a therapeutic relationship with carers and offering them a listening ear is often the thing that makes the biggest difference. 

I find being an Admiral Nurse so rewarding because I have such a big impact in people’s lives. Families – like Tracey’s – often say that I have been their lifeline.  

“Before Liz came along it felt like a whirlwind. But once we had that help in place it felt a weight was lifted. Liz is there for anything we need and it’s a relief to know there is someone there to support us.”  

– Tracey, who cares for her husband 

My most memorable experience was supporting a lady with frontotemporal dementia through to the end of her life. Her family said that they couldn’t have done it without me. That puts the fire in my belly and warms my heart.  

My hope for the future of Admiral Nursing is that every family that needs one has access to an Admiral Nurse. Dementia UK does a pre-Admiral Nurse eLearning module which gives you a taster of what Admiral Nursing is and whether it is the right role for you.  

Being an Admiral Nurse is challenging, but above all, it is exciting and rewarding. 

Ruth
Acute Admiral Nurse 

Admiral Nurses are specialist dementia nurses, and we support families affected by all forms of dementia. I am an Admiral Nurse at the Lister Hospital in Hertfordshire. We have around 74 people living with dementia admitted to our inpatient wards every day.  

It can be very scary when someone with dementia is admitted to hospital. It’s often terrifying for their family, and they want to know that their loved one is being well cared for. They want details and updates about their relative in hospital and that’s what I can provide as an Admiral Nurse.  

When I first meet someone with dementia it’s important to understand that they are a person first and a patient second. I meet with their family members and really listen to what their concerns are.  

“The benefit of having an Admiral Nurse in hospital is that you have a point of contact. Ruth stayed connected with me to give me updates about my mum. Having that one-to-one attention from Ruth had an uplifting effect on my mum.”  

– Caroline, who cares for her mum 

My dream for the future is for there to be an Admiral Nurse in every hospital – they are desperately needed.

If it’s important to you that people with dementia have a really good experience when they’re in hospital, then this job is for you. You will have an opportunity to work with people with dementia as well as supporting their families. 

I’m proud to be really making a difference in dementia care. It’s a challenge and there’s so much to do, but I’m never going to give up. 

Admiral Nurse talking to a family member outside

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Admiral Nurse reading a leaflet with a carer

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