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Specialist Nurses support life planning after Parkinson’s Disease

30 September 2020

Nurse Navigators who work within Metro South Health’s Movement Disorders Team are making a tangible difference to Queenslanders living with Parkinson’s Disease and other movement disorders.

Nurse Navigator Vince Cheah, who has worked at QEII Hospital for the past year, said the service aims to empower patients with the knowledge and resources required to look after their own health in the immediate and long-term.

“Preparing patients who have Parkinson’s Disease and conditions like Motor neuron disease and Huntington’s Disease for their health journey is very rewarding and it pays off because you can see the direct impact it has on their quality of life as the disease progresses.

“Being situated in the community I am able to monitor the patient’s conditions and help them with advanced care planning, medication management, and assist them in accessing supports such as the NDIS and link them in with organisations like Parkinson’s Queensland.”

Mr Cheah said he currently supports 22 patients to varying degrees depending on their individual needs. 

“For older patients I may be involved until the end of the journey but for younger, more able patients, I help them until they feel they are well supported, and then they can always call me if they need anything,” he said.

Mr Cheah said his role gave him the ability to make a personalised difference in patients’ lives, citing the example of a recent patient he had helped who was quite debilitated by their PD.

“After meeting him at our Movement Disorders clinic at Wynnum I spent the next six months optimising his home living situation and medications. Since then he has really seen an improvement in his mobility and quality of life,” he said.

“He is hoping to be able to get back into his caravan soon, which is one of his goals, and he is almost there with the help of Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy support I coordinated for him.”

Mr Cheah said having the flexibility and freedom to support patients in a person-centred way was highly rewarding and well regarded by patients accessing the service. 

“The feedback I have received is that patients can really see the benefit we Nurse Navigators have on their lives, especially after you break down those initial barriers they have to participating in their own healthcare.”

For more information about accessing the Movement Disorders Nurse Navigator service visit: www.metrosouth.health.qld.gov.au/referrals/nurse-navigators/nurse-navigator-faqs

Last updated 9 October 2020
Last reviewed 30 September 2020

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