What I love about being an Admiral Nurse

May 12, 2022

Five of our Admiral Nurses share what they love most about their jobs.

No two days are the same

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

I love the relationships we build with families, which grow from strength to strength. It’s like you become a huge part of that family unit. Families trust in you and are so grateful for all you do – it’s truly heart-warming.

I love that Dementia UK provides Admiral Nurses with monthly peer supervision, giving us time to meet up with other Admiral Nurses who work in different settings. I really enjoy learning from others and being able to validate my own experiences.

Dementia UK also provides the wonderful Admiral Nurse forum each year, and gives us lots of opportunities for keeping our knowledge and skills up to date.

– Liz Tomlinson, Community Admiral Nurse

Carers and families invite me into their world

I became an Admiral Nurse in October 2020, and it is the most fulfilling role I have been in since I qualified as a nurse. Every day is different and brings new challenges, whether that’s talking to different carers or families, presenting at meetings, providing training, or being interviewed on the radio.

Dementia UK is an incredibly supportive charity and has encouraged me to develop my skills and knowledge. I’m currently doing a Master’s degree, for example, and my managers frequently offer support through study days.

We are also offered monthly group supervisions to reflect on issues we have encountered – this gives me new perspectives on complex situations from other Admiral Nurses.

However, what I love most about being an Admiral Nurse is being in a privileged position where carers and families invite me into their world. They share their stories with me and trust me to offer advice to improve their day-to-day lives.

Since becoming an Admiral Nurse, there has been a noticeable change in attitudes towards dementia which I’m proud to be part of. I’ve been able to offer support to local businesses and health and social care professionals. A number of GP practices have made changes to the signage in their receptions to make them more accessible. Receptionists say they now feel more confident in talking to carers and people living with dementia, and we have set up local carers’ groups to provide more support, too.

– Rachael Khan-Lowe, Clinics Admiral Nurse

The work is varied and far-reaching

What I love about being an Admiral Nurse is that the work is varied and far-reaching. I rarely know exactly what I will be doing from one day to the next. While this can be challenging, it is what makes the job interesting and diverse. I have had opportunities to gain experiences and learn skills I don’t believe I would have had in any other role.

I also have the pleasure of working with some very passionate colleagues, many of whom have become lifelong friends.

Supporting families when they’re at their most vulnerable is a very humbling experience. The stories they share are heart-wrenching and inspiring in equal measures, and I feel privileged to be a small part of their lives.

– Stephanie Ragdale, Acute Admiral Nurse

Being able to provide time for people

What I love about being an Admiral Nurse is being able to provide time for people. Time to really listen and offer a compassionate response. Time to share my knowledge of dementia, to help people understand the diagnosis and improve their skills in caring. Time to understand individual circumstances and offer tailored advice and support.

It is a privilege to support people in their journey from pre-diagnosis to end of life. You really get to see the difference your input has made to outcomes: it is so rewarding.

The journey through dementia is rarely an easy one, but knowing you have had the opportunity to make a positive difference in someone’s personal journey is a true privilege.

I have a real passion for improving outcomes for people living with dementia and their carers: in my opinion, there is no better role than the Admiral Nurse role to allow me to focus on my passion.

– Sheridan Coker, Clinics Admiral Nurse

I can be someone’s shoulder to cry on – the person they offload to

I have been a nurse for 35 years and being an Admiral Nurse is the best job I have ever had. No two days are ever the same, which makes it such a pleasure to come in every day.

In my role I get to offer support, education and guidance, not only to patients but also other health and care professionals and most importantly, loved ones and carers.

I can be someone’s shoulder to cry on – the person they offload to. I keep it simple, listen to what’s needed and am guided by this.

Telling someone it is ok to feel how they feel has proven to be one of the greatest pieces of advice I deliver. It is simply an honour and privilege to represent my trust and Dementia UK as an Admiral Nurse.

– Mark Oakley, Acute Admiral Nurse

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