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Nurse Specialist – Beverly Darge

Feltwell Surgery’s Nurse Specialist is Beverly Darge. What is a Nurse Specialist? Well – it’s what it says on the tin – a nurse who has specialised in a specific area.

It would possibly be easier to ask what Beverly has NOT specialised in. She started off in 1969/70 by getting an Ophthalmic Nurses Diploma at the Ophthalmic and Aural Hospital in Maidstone, Kent. She qualified as a Registered General Nurse in 1988 at the Medway Hospital then as a Midwife in 1990 at All Saints Hospital - both in Kent.

In 1994 Beverly became a Practice Nurse. This is as qualified nurse who has undertaken further training. They work in ­a GP’s surgery as part of a healthcare team, which can include doctors, health visitors and pharmacists.

Their job involves treating minor injuries, helping deal with minor illnesses and chronic disease monitoring, assisting with minor operations done under local anaesthetic, family planning advice, running vaccination programmes – for example, flu jabs or baby immunisations, giving B12 injections and running Warfarin clinics – as well as taking charge of various health programmes like help giving up smoking.

Since becoming a Practise Nurse Beverly has completed numerous courses and diplomas, ‘In order,’ she says, ‘to give the care I need to give within my role’. These include a Diploma in Asthma care; a Marie Curie breast and pelvic examination course; a Family planning certificate; and a Diploma in Diabetes Care in General Practice as well as spending time on study days to keep her knowledge base up to date.

‘As a Nurse Specialist I specialise in Diabetes Care. I feel I compliment the doctors as I can deal with the day-to-day diagnosis and treatment of diabetes. I need their help if I notice the condition gets more complicated, or there are other medical conditions alongside diabetes.

My role is not equal to a doctor. My training is completely different. The initial training for a nurse is 3 years and for a doctor is 5 years. Doctors will also specialise as well as nurses but they have a much wider general knowledge of conditions that can affect the body. Nurses work at a different level with the ‘hands on’ ongoing care of those conditions

When we see patients there are several ways we can deal with the situation in front of us. We can examine and prescribe treatment for that patient. We can give the patient treatment that they can start while they wait to see the doctor.  We can go to the doctor for advice. Ask the doctor to come into our consultation or add the patient to the end of the doctor’s present clinic. It all depends on what we are seeing and how urgent we feel the condition is.’

So we can regard ourselves as extremely fortunate to have such a dedicated Nurse Specialist as Beverly Darge at Feltwell Surgery.

Toni Arthur-Hay


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ARTICLE 01/2012