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Explore the role of a specialist MS nurse

Published 10 October 2018, updated 23 September 2020

Specialist MS nurses, like Ana, offer vital support for people living with multiple sclerosis (MS), and are usually a key point of contact as they, and their loved ones, manage their disease.

For many people living with this progressive disease, they need a regular and ongoing source of professional support and disease education, in order to help them to better understand their MS.

Similarly, at diagnosis, MS nurses provide the personal support needed, taking the time to build strong relationships with their patients and their families, all the while being qualified to offer up-to-date medical information to help navigate a life changing diagnosis and explore hope for the future.1

Their role is critical as appointments with nurses tend to be more frequent providing the support needed in between visits to the neurologist.2

Learn from Ana, a dedicated specialist MS nurse, about the many ways MS nurse teams can – and are already – supporting the MS community.

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MS nurses have a number of responsibilities in their role, including:

  • Providing regular appointments with people newly diagnosed with MS, to tend to their individual needs, questions and concerns
  • Offering council and emotional support through difficult and sensitive times for those recently diagnosed
  • Helping guide patients through relapses and explore how best to manage symptoms with ways to suit the individuals’ needs
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The care specialist MS nurses provide differs, but complements, that from physicians and neurologists:

  • MS nurses see patients more regularly for longer appointments, to discuss in detail the emotional side of an MS diagnosis
  • Doctors will focus on the neuro-status of patients, their prescriptions and setting up treatment plans, while the MS nurse will go through this with the patient in further detail to answer any day-to-day disease management questions
  • MS nurses will explore in detail and support the individual to find strategies to help them cope with symptoms such as fatigue, bladder control, cognition and walking
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Specialist MS nurses can help patients with their treatment plans by:

  • Providing education around disease management options to best suit the individual
  • Monitoring adherence with regular consultations and ongoing conversations
  • Building long-lasting relationships with their patients to ensure open conversations
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Specialist MS nurses have a vital role in helping people living with MS with their ongoing wellbeing and day-to-day disease management. Around the world, their ongoing kindness, support and emotional guidance is helping the MS community to live their best possible lives.

References:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3882972/#:~:
    text=As%20patient%20advocates%2C%20MS%20nurses,with%20hope%20for%20the%20future
    .
  2. https://www.mstrust.org.uk/a-z/ms-specialist-nurses

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