A multiple sclerosis nurse specialist narrative, focusing on supporting people to manage cognitive changes
JournalBritish Journal of Neuroscience Nursing
PublisherMark Allen Group
Rights© MA Healthcare Limited
MetadataShow full item record
Background: Cognitive changes are common in people with multiple sclerosis (MS). Interventions from health professionals can focus on assessment, measurement and advice on management strategies. Such interventions are often delivered in a discreet number of planned therapy sessions. MS nurse specialists plan appointments and education sessions, but also provide access for a person with MS to seek unplanned support for example via MS nurse advice lines or digital services. Aim: This article explores my role as an MS specialist nurse. Centring on reflective practice as a tool to access my nursing experience. Specialist nurse interventions to support people with MS to manage their cognitive function are highlighted. Method: Narrative methodology was used to reflect on my practice over a 10-month period. Findings: Insights into my practice are presented as a narrative text. A fundamental thread emerged of cultivating trust and a therapeutic relationship. Strategies included: being with people on their MS journey, informing, educating, confirming and legitimising their experiences; completing ongoing assessments and monitoring; making timely interventions and assessing their impact; acknowledging and working with an individual's decisions and recognising opportunities to suggest change; discussing research opportunities and considering the impact of medicines and comorbidities. Conclusion: This narrative is unique to my nursing practice and aims to resonate with the practice of other nurses. It demonstrates that an MS specialist nurse can provide timely advice, reinforcement of management strategies, and space for a person with MS to explore how their cognition may be affecting them. MS nurses have the opportunity to play a vital role in supporting people with MS to manage cognitive changes throughout the disease trajectory.