Parkinson’s Nurse Specialist Service unique to WA

Parkinson's WA Nurse Heather Johnstone.
Parkinson's WA Nurse Heather Johnstone.

MANDURAH and Rockingham nurse Heather Johnstone celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Parkinson’s WA Nurse Specialist Service.

Ms Johnstone, who completed her nursing training at Murdoch University in 2008, is the first to admit that she loves her job as a Parkinson’s nurse specialist.

“I love community work, particularly seeing people in their own home environment where they are usually more relaxed,” she said.

“My favourite part of the job is being out and about in the community, meeting people of varying ages from different backgrounds and cultures.

“It truly is a privilege to be welcomed into people’s homes and share in their journey with Parkinson’s.”

Ms Johnstone visits Parkinson’s clients from Kwinana to Waroona.

“We really promote wellness in everything we do, and we also connect clients with other support services, such as physio, occupational therapy and speech pathology,” she said.

“Being a Parkinson’s Nurse Specialist involves constant learning and being part of the nursing team as we celebrate 20 years is very special.”

The service is unique to WA and consists of a team of eight community-based nurses visiting people living with Parkinson’s in their homes, and also up-skill allied health professionals.

Parkinson’s WA chief executive Brenda Matthews said every hour someone is diagnosed with Parkinson’s in Australia.

“Our team of Parkinson’s nurse specialist in WA are here to help and support them,” she said.

“Our nurse specialists act as educators and supporters for the individual who has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s.”