I qualified as a nurse in 2002 and began my clinical practice working within Critical Care. I worked within this speciality for a number of years and during this time completed Post Graduate Diplomas in Intensive Care Nursing and a Master’s degree in Critical Care from Cardiff University School of Medicine. This is an area which still holds a great deal of interest for me and consequently I am heavily involved in teaching associated topics on Undergraduate Programmes in the School of Healthcare Sciences.
Following my time in Critical Care I then worked within a Clinical Research Facility. This period of employment involved project managing, as well as working clinically, on a range of clinical trials for a range of conditions including leukaemia, diabetes, arthritis etc. The projects included Phase 1 trials (First time in humans) up to phase 3 projects.
I then went on to accept the role as Haematology Clinical Trials Manager, within a large tertiary hospital, which included managing both the Haematology and Haemophilia clinical trials teams as well as an extensive portfolio of projects. This role required extensive collaboration between Patients, Health Boards, the Pharmaceutical Industry, Academic Institutions and Governmental bodies.
During this time I also commenced a Professional Doctorate in Advanced Healthcare Practice and eventually took up an academic position within Cardiff University School of Healthcare Sciences. As a lecturer here I undertake a range of roles including teaching, research, providing pastoral care and acting as a cohort lead for nursing intakes. In 2016, I also completed my teaching qualification (Post Graduate Certificate in Healthcare Education). Within the school I teach across a number of subjects and programmes and have particular interests in Anatomy and Physiology, Research Methods, Simulation and Clinical Skills alongside Critical Illness.
I am interested in a number of areas including the people’s journey through illness and the decisions they make.
My current project is exploring Huntington’s Disease (HD) and what people feel about new and experimental therapies. HD is a genetic disorder that currently does not have a cure. Cell transplantation has been suggested as potentially offering a treatment but is still experimental and has risks. I am interested in what people with the HD gene think about this within the context of their lived experience of the disease.
I am also involved in research exploring people’s experience of going through cancer alone ie without the support of a partner, spouse etc. It is hoped that this research will result in strategies to better support people in these circumstances.