The Parkinson's Disease Nurse
nurse knows both sides of it. She knows the clinical side and the practical
side - what is going to happen and what you need”
Disease Nurse Specialists (PDNS) are becoming more common across the
U.K. They are highly experienced and expert nurses who work all their
time with people with Parkinson’s disease, and with their families
- The PDNS can help people with PD and
their families to better understand and accept their diagnosis, by
providing education, support and counselling.
- They can advise on how to manage PD
symptoms and when it is appropriate to refer to another member of the
multi-disciplinary team (e.g. physiotherapist, occupational therapist,
speech and language therapist etc.).
- They act as a link between the person
with PD and the specialist doctor and other health professionals
involved in care. They also help the family doctor and carers to
provide the best day to day care.
- Making the best use of medication is an
important part of the role of the PDNS. They can advise on managing
side effects and on the timing and dosing of drugs for PD.
Top of Page
PDNS can also advise on any other practical information
that is needed, such as financial benefits and help from social
services. They will know where and how to gain specific information
and about useful facilities in your local area.
the PDNS organises education and support sessions where people with
PD and their carers can learn more about all aspects of the
condition and share experiences and concerns with others.
PDNS will try to anticipate possible problems you may develop and
ensure these are minimised.
You may be able to refer yourself directly
to a Parkinson’s Disease Nurse Specialist, or can ask your hospital
specialist how to contact them.
The UK Parkinson’s Disease Society
(telephone +44 (0)20 7931 8080;) will also be able to tell you whether
there is a PDNS locally and how to contact them.
A report on the work of PDNS, ‘Changing
roles : the impact of Parkinson’s disease Nurse Specialists’,
published in 2003 is available at
The Parkinson’s Disease Nurse Specialist
Association website is at www.pdnsa.org.