Jessica Thurston, Chief Operating Officer at Somek and Associates, has recently had an article...
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Dip in Cardiovascular Disease, Dip in Women's Health, Dip in Infectious Diseases, RGN
I qualified as a Registered Nurse in 1981 and started my career working on an acute medical ward. I then worked and studied at an infectious disease unit and undertook a Diploma in this area before becoming a staff nurse for the radiology department. Whilst raising my family I worked as an agency nurse on a variety of medical and surgical hospital wards prior to returning to regular nursing in 2000. From 2000 until 2010 I worked as a staff nurse in the Spire Hospital in Hastings, gaining experience of the private sector and developed expertise in pre-assessing patients before surgery. I was employed at the Conquest Hospital cardiology department between 2003 and 2005 where I developed my skills in cardiology by assessing cardiac patients and assisting with pacemaker and coronary angiogram procedures. In 2007 I moved both into general practice as a practice nurse for three days a week along with school nursing in a boarding school. I stopped school nursing in 2013, and now work only in general practice.
I have considerable experience of all areas of practice nursing. My main responsibilities are setting up and running chronic disease clinics for regular patient monitoring in asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cardiovascular disease, diabetes management and performing and interpreting spirometry. I advise on contraception, undertake cervical cytology and sexual health management. I run a childhood vaccination clinic and see babies and children of all ages. Phlebotomy, ear syringing and administering and interpreting electrocardiograms are all part of my daily clinic lists. I am trained to screen elderly patients for a range of infirmities which includes undertaking dementia testing and alerting Social Care Co-ordinators and the GPs to those who may be considered at risk. I triage minor injuries on a regular basis and am confident in treating minor wounds and recognising when patients need referring to the local hospital for further treatment. I also treat and dress both chronic and post-operative wounds, and remove sutures and clips. My other responsibilities include the administration of a variety of prescribed vaccinations, implementing yearly influenza clinics, giving general health education including lifestyle advice, well person clinics and weight management. I also run a travel health clinic advising patients of the health risks of travelling abroad and vaccinating them with appropriate immunisations. I work with a GP who undertakes minor surgery in house. I assist with these procedures and have developed a knowledge of skin conditions and the early detection of skin cancers from this experience. I currently work four days a week in general practice in two different locations.
I became a Justice of the Peace in 1990. I have worked largely in adult criminal courts, but I also have experience on the Family Panel too. I qualified as a chairperson in 1998. I am familiar with the court environment, and often consider expert witness reports with relation to cases that I sit on. I have been a magistrate appraiser and have sat on the selection panel for new magistrates.
I accept instructions from both Claimant and Defendant Solicitors and Insurers. I have undergone formal training in the medico-legal process and am fully aware of my responsibilities under the Civil Procedure Rules (CPR) pertaining to Expert Witnesses.