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In nurse`s cloak, 1948

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In nurse`s cloak, 1948 In 1947 (on right) At 1991 retirement party with child patients and parents,  Hinckley
With Felix Burden, John Hearnshaw and Peter Swift, 1991 Retirement kiss from Felix Burden, 1991 Joan Wilson, 2006
53. 01 1950 diet sheet used by Joan Wilson 53. 02 1989 page from Chronicle of a Diabetic Service by Joan Walker 53. 03 1991 newspaper article
53. 04 1991 newspaper photo
 
 
Interview 53 Joan Wilson

Diabetes Specialist Health Visitor
Born in Northwich, Cheshire in 1926.


Overview: In 1954, Joan Wilson was appointed as a Diabetes Specialist Health Visitor by Dr. Joan Walker of Leicester Royal Infirmary, who believed that patients would benefit from being ‘taught how to live their lives at home`. As a fully trained nurse, she could claim to be one of the UK`s earliest Diabetic Specialist Nurses. She visited homes and gave patients her own home phone number; visited schools and workplaces; liaised with district nurses and GPs and provided patient education at the Infirmary clinics. She was involved in consultant-led clinics in smaller towns and in helping GPs to set up clinics.

Please note that Overview relates to date of recording 11 December 2006

 Short samples

1 When she first visited people with diabetes in their homes, she found that many were using the wrong equipment. [ 62 secs ]

2 She came to believe strongly in the benefits of home visiting for both adults and children because it would be in their homes, rather than in hospital, that they would have to manage their own diabetes. [ 63 secs ]

 
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01 Born Cheshire 1926. Sir John Deane`s School. During war, nursing training outside Liverpool…
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02 …County Hospital, Whiston. Lectures & ward work interspersed. Trained 1943-7 – included diabetes. Then year in gynae ward.
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03 Midwifery training, Kingston on Thames. District midwifery, Warrington General. Health visitors` course, UMIST.
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04 Health visitor in Widnes for 18th months. School visits. 1952 - Leicester City Health Dept. (City & County separate.) Problem families & 2 schools. Hospital liaison. No diabetes.
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05 1954 - Dr. Joan Walker wanted diabetics visited by health visitor at home. She taught me re diabetes at her home. I set up ‘health visitor for diabetes` service in City. Walker had met resistance from male doctors at Royal Infirmary.
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06 I visited new patients & some elderly. Taught urine-testing & equipment care. Worked with district nurses. Supervised injections.
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07 Told we were wasted on diabetes - I said it used all our skills. Travelled on foot. Better to treat people at home than hospital.
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08 Told paediatrician to send girl home & I`d call next day. Worked from home - patients & doctors rang all hours. Patients admitted for less time. Children treated at home, except ketoacidosis.
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09 Better at home - usual energy use & diet.
Diagnosis a shock; then children did well.
Families found carbohydrate counting hard…
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10 …Confusing. Diets improved. We`d given wrong information.
Visited schools. Liaison with GPs. Helped consultants.
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11 Attended Infirmary clinics from 1954. Acquired own patient education rooms. Consultant back-up. Stayed 15 months, then changeover – not good, because specialist knowledge lost. Change to U100 insulin…
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12 …patients anxious.
One-year secondment not good idea. Needed continuity.
Importance of foot care & exercise. Children`s camps. Convalescent homes.
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13 Helped older patients. Urine test changes. Foot care. I miss children & elderly. We`d visit workplaces. Some patients keep in touch.
Fear of hypos at work.
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14 We helped workplaces & schools.
At home with my children, 1958-6, then general health visiting, then Infirmary again. John Hearnshaw on sabbatical. Joan Walker came out of retirement & retrained me. I stayed 21 years.
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15 Career dates.
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16 1954-5 - rode Cyclemaster. Private patients, 1980s – no extra pay.
1970-91 – same work, different titles.
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17 1980s, City & County combined. More health visitors. Clinics in County towns – helped consultant & taught nurses & patients. Helped GPs set up clinics - would complications be detected as quickly? Eye photography at Infirmary. Worried GPs wouldn`t detect blindness.
Fewer amputations than in 1950s.
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18 Local clinics saved travel. Infirmary clinics getting bigger. Dr. Felix Burden arrived. Weekly patient teaching sessions at Coalville – included teenagers. Hinckley families raised money for islet cell transplants research. Blood-monitoring meters for children.
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19 Felix Burden up-to-date e.g. re painless injections, Asian diet. Clinics enormous after Ugandan Asians came – some joined Diabetic Assoc. & raised money.
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20 I was chairman of Leicester Diabetic Assoc. People from abroad came to see work. Diabetic Assoc forum for complaints & fund-raising. A community. All liked Dr. Walker.
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21 Mistakes - confusion over insulin strengths. Man given wrong insulin. Man misunderstood mark on syringe. Revived unconscious woman.
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22 Improvements – disposable syringes, pens, more known, more patients, more nurses - (I trained nurses & doctors re new equipment) – Glucagon, HypoStop, more aftercare, more dietary freedom & self-dosage.
Maybe less attention. We knew families well.
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23 Demanding work. Husband answered phone.
Home visiting enabled advice to suit family & detection of problems. People brought false specimens to clinics & children cheated. Important to be friend & professional.
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