Interview with Joanne Wignall: Working on the hospital frontline with type 1 diabetes


Joanne Wignall is a third-year student nurse currently on placement at Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust. She’s working in cardiology, caring for and helping patients who visit the hospital – including those with COVID-19.

Joanne has type 1 diabetes. This means that should she contract the coronavirus, she may be more likely to develop severe illness compared to others. And still she works the front lines.

Diagnosed 41 years ago, Joanne is no stranger to diabetes. She has had decades of experience managing her blood glucose levels. Over the last year and a half, she’s managed to enhance her management with a FreeStyle Libre sensor. The easy-to-use device has been a huge help to her and others working in hospitals at this time too.

Currently, she tests her blood glucose four or five times a day. Ideally, she would be able to test more, but she can’t carry her FreeStyle Libre reader with her on the ward. She has to find time between lending aid to her patients to fetch it. With the current global crisis, she has noticed that anxiety has elevated her blood glucose levels.

Despite these difficulties and the danger her work poses to her, she has opted to carry on working after her placement ends on Monday. She is dedicated to her patients and to her own safety, making full use of the personal protective equipment that the hospital provides, and following all the government guidelines to keep herself and her family safe.

We are all hugely grateful for the fantastic work that Joanne and all the NHS workers are doing and want to celebrate their continued achievements and efforts! Thank you

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