Specialist Nurse for skull base tumours at Salford Royal Andrea Wadeson has reflected on her experience of the British Association of Neuroscience Nursing (BANN) Nurse Fellowship exchange in a new article in a leading journal.
Andrea was awarded the fellowship for her presentation on postoperative care for patients undergoing surgery for acoustic neuroma (vestibular schwannoma) at the 11th European Association of Neuroscience Nurses Quadrennial Congress and Society of British Neurosurgeons Spring Meeting in March 2019
This led to her visit to the Barrow Neurological Institute, in Phoenix, Arizona to find out more about how the expert team there manage patients with this condition.
She spent time with clinical nurse specialists, nurse navigators – who offer individualised assistance to patients, families and caregivers to help overcome healthcare system barriers, oncology nurse practitioners, nurse educators and advanced nurse practitioners.
Andrea also met with the Barrow Institute’s team working on facial palsy, a risk of vestibular schwannoma treatment, which causes physical difficulties for patients, including a reduced blink or eye closure (and, therefore, ulceration and abrasion of the cornea, potentially leading to visual loss), taste dysfunction, dysarthria and oro-motor dysphagia. It also has a significant psychological effect.
And she hopes her learning there could lead to the forming of a joint multidisciplinary group with Barrow to research the use of different therapies in managing facial palsy, including the use of Kinesio tape, a cotton fibre tape used in many sports and rehabilitation settings for supporting lymphatic drainage, muscle tone and muscle contraction.
Andrea said: “Within my own practice, I act as a keyworker for vestibular schwannoma patients from the point of diagnosis, through to treatment and for many years beyond in both the outpatient and inpatient setting, navigating the patient throughout their treatment pathway.
“It was fascinating to see the similarities and differences between our systems and I am now working with our wider multidisciplinary team to establish pathways of care and training needs, as well as discussing a joint research group.”