This Learning Disability Week we spoke to Serena Jones, Learning Disability and Autism Acute Liaison Nurse, about her childhood nursing dream that became a reality.
“I moved to Bristol in March 1993 to start my nurse training when I was 20. I thought I would go home once I qualified but after meeting my husband, who’s a Scouser, I relocated to Liverpool and I’ve never looked back! I now live in Woolton with my husband, Kenny, and sons, aged 14 and 16.
“I grew up in Galway in the west of Ireland in a small village called Corcullen. My plan was always to be a nurse but academia never came easy to me. My mum introduced me to people with learning disabilities when I was 10 and as a family we supported a lot of families who had children with a learning disability. Looking back now, my mum was giving me the building blocks to follow my dream from an early age.
“After I qualified I took up a post in Mersey Care NHS Trust as a Learning Disability Nurse and Dementia Specialist.
“I have worked at LUHFT for six years now in a number of different roles as a Learning Disability Nurse. My current role involves improving experiences for people with learning disabilities or autism who visit the Trust. I also help to navigate them around the symptoms they are experiencing and make reasonable adjustments to ensure equal and fair treatment for everyone in our hospitals. It brings me so much joy to be part of someone’s journey and to see them recover.
“During my time at LUHFT, I was fortunate to be part of the team that won the Learning and Disability Nursing category of the 2019 Royal College of Nursing Awards. It was such an honour and privilege to receive the award. Aside from this, my proudest career moments to date are achieving my MSc in Dementia Care and becoming a non-medical prescriber, which allows me to prescribe medication for health conditions within my field, as a doctor would. As a specialist dementia nurse for people with learning disabilities, I am able to support patients from diagnosis right through to their end of life care. I am passionate about ensuring all of our patients who are reaching end of life have a good death and that the people around them have positive memories. This shouldn’t be compromised by the fact they have learning disabilities. My next goal is to achieve my PhD, specialising in end of life care.
“Outside of work I like to keep fit and go to the gym most mornings before work. I’m proud to say I’ve even ran the Liverpool Rock ‘n’ Roll marathon in 2016- it was one of the hardest things I’ve done but I’ve got my medal! I also love to spend time with my two boys and husband who are partial to a meal at Bem Brasil in Liverpool city centre whenever we get the chance.”