Category Archives: Nursing

Development of Nurse Counselling in the UK

Professor Elizabeth Anionwu

Image: Professor Elizabeth Anionwu
Creative Commons BY SA

Author:

Professor Anionwu

Level:

Members of the public, undergraduate or postgraduate healthcare students, nurses, medics.

OER Features:

A bundle of three open educational resource by Professor Anionwu talking about the development of nurse counselling in the UK and how the role emerged to support patients and families with sickle cell disease and thalassaemia back in the 1970’s.

YouTube Video
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Transcript of interview in DOC and PDF form

Video transcript doc
http://www.sicklecellanaemia.org/teaching-resources/resources/scooter85/SCOOTEROER84b_Elizabeth_Anionwu_Transcript.doc
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Video transcript pdf
http://www.sicklecellanaemia.org/teaching-resources/resources/scooter85/SCOOTEROER84c_Elizabeth_Anionwu_Transcript.pdf

OER Description:

Interview led by Professor Simon Dyson with Professor Elizabeth Anionwu.

Professor Anionwu was the first sickle cell and thalassaemia nurse counsellor in Britain in the 1970s. As she was the only person in the role, she developed it as she went along. In contrast today, there are teams of counsellors, specialising in children or adults with the condition.

There was little information available then and today the role continues to develop with counsellors working in homes, and being involved in newborn screening of babies to help with the diagnosis of the condition. The nurse counsellor role often is very much being a go-between between families and hospitals, families and schools and then employers. The role very much is about communicating the condition and raising awareness.

Today the role is more technical with the NHS having introduced a screening plan for all new born babies to be tested for sickle cell disease. Thus, nurse counsellors need to understand aspects of biomedical laboratory data and understand the genetics of the condition in order to advise patients and their families, and even prospective parents.

Professor Anionwu has dedicated her life work to the area of sickle cell and thalassemia, and this 9 minute interview is both enlightening and inspiring.

References

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More details of nurse counsellor roles in the NHS can be found online at: http://www.nhscareers.nhs.uk/details/default.aspx?id=896 [Accessed 1st July 2012].

Related posts:

Sickle Cell Anaemia Nurse Counselling

Sickle cell anaemia history of nurse counselling

Author:

Professor Elizabeth Anionwu

Level:

Members of the public, undergraduate or postgraduate healthcare, nursing or medical training

OER Features:

4 OER associated with sickle cell anaemia nurse counselling development in the UK and establishment of support groups around the world.
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Narrated Flash animation (swf file)
Word DOC, PDF and TXT files of audio transcript
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3 OER detailing Professor Anionwu’s publication list (updated on 1st July 2012)

OER Description:

Professor Elizabeth Anionwu is a very special individual and made a significant contribution to the advancement of nurse counselling in the UK, most notably through her work with patients and families with blood disorders such as sickle cell anaemia. She was the first nurse counsellor in the UK in the 1970’s and established nurse counselling as a career path and service within the National Health Service (NHS).

The idea was first conceived a the Central Middlesex Hospital where as a community nurse tutor Professor Anionwu worked alongside a consultant haematologist, and they both recognised the need to drastically improve medical care in the area of sickle cell disease.

In this resource she describes the advancement of counselling services and support centres around the world from Lagos in Nigeria, to Quantra Pitra Guadeloupe which was the first comprehensive sickle cell anaemia centre in France. Back in the UK at the Willesden General hospital the Brent Sickle Cell and Thalassaemia Centre was established in 1979, and as an information screening and counselling centre for the conditions it was the first of its kind in Britain. Professor Anionwu ran the centre until 1990.

Today, the role of the nurse counsellor and growing band of specialist nurses and midwives are involved in supporting patients and their families in the genetic counselling and screening for sickle cell anaemia and thalassaemia.

References:

A list of publications relating to Professor Anionwu’s on sickle cell anaemia work can be found online and was retrieved by completing a PUBMED search.

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