Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

COMMUNITYTB Nurse Is Honoured for Her Work

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

COMMUNITYTB Nurse Is Honoured for Her Work

Article excerpt

Byline: Craig Thompson Reporter

ANURSE who is helping tackle one of the UK's most "misunderstood" conditions has received a prestigious award.

Fiona Cook, a community nurse at the Newcastle Hospitals specialising in the care of patients with tuberculosis (TB), has been given the title of Queen's Nurse by the Queen's Nursing Institute.

Fiona, who has been a qualified for 22 years and s worked in the Newcastle community for 10 years, is one of only 79 nurses, out of some 4,000 put forward, who received this year's honour.

She was given the much respected accolade in recognition of the dedication and commitment she has shown towards the patients she cares for in the community.

Ms Cook said: "I'm surprised and a bit overawed to receive this title. I love my job and can honestly say I look forward to coming in every day.

"I find my work challenging and extremely rewarding, and to hear the lovely comments that patients had made about how I help them is really gratifying. The whole experience has given me a huge boost and I feel even more proactive and energised than ever before."

The incidence of TB in the north of Tyne area is relatively high in urban Newcastle, at 10 cases per 100,000 population, and low in rural Northumberland, at one case per 100,000. Overall, the incidence is lower than other parts of the country such London with 40 to 50 cases per 100,000 population, depending on the particular borough.

Ms Cook says TB can be a misunderstood disease leading to stigma and fear.

However, TB is a curable disease if it is diagnosed and treated in the early stages. Fiona and fellow TB community nurse, Gary Holden, manage a caseload of, on average, 80 patients annually in the north of Tyne area.

The nursing and medical team are a well-respected and established source of advice for health professionals in the region and beyond. They also work on the essential preventative measures, including screening and contact tracing in a wide range of community settings. …

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