My name is Nicole, I am 29 years old and suffer from NF2. I got diagnosed when I was 16 years old. I currently work as a nurse in Ophthalmology clinic.
I love my job as a nurse and going through many surgeries at a young age is what inspired me to take up my nurse training. The care I received throughout my clinic appointments and surgery was fantastic and knew I wanted to give something back to the NHS and help patients throughout their appointments and stays in hospital.
I choose to work in ophthalmology due to my own eye problems. I have always had an interest in this field. I take pride in my job and supporting patients with various different eye conditions.
Working as a nurse with NF2 I can face many challenges, my hearing is the biggest issue and takes a lot of concentration to understand what the patients are saying to me. I often find by the end of the day I have a headache due to fatigue and concentration.
It’s especially difficult now due to mask wearing because of Covid-19, and the fact I rely on lip reading to understand what is being said. My work now have clear masks which make things a little easier. I am also on the waiting list for a cochlear implant. My role involves rotation to pre/post-operative care and theatre. However due to severe hearing loss I am unable to work in theatres.
Pain is another factor when working long shifts, due to spinal tumours I get a lot of pain in my back and arm.
Although NF2 has a huge impact on me I have not let it stop me and really enjoy working as a nurse. It’s especially rewarding coming across patients who are deaf/hard of hearing and they really appreciate that I understand them and take the time to ensure they have heard and understood everything that I have explained.
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