Joanna started working in healthcare in 2002, initially looking after an elderly lady in her home and then as a health care assistant in a nursing home for elderly people with dementia. This inspired her to become a nurse and she started her training as an Adult Nurse at Kingston University in 2004. Once qualified she wanted to get as much experience in different areas of nursing as possible, so she spent time working in Trauma Orthopaedics, Medical Endocrine, Gastro-intestinal and Vascular surgical wards, ITU and Surgical Assessment. During this time Joanna also undertook further study around managing the acutely unwell individual and qualified as a Nursing Mentor.

Later Joanna moved to A&E and learnt a lot from working in Majors, Minors and Resus, before rotating onto the Acute Medical Unit. Joanna then decided to move up north and having settled on Sheffield she had the opportunity to work in Tissue Viability as part of the Pressure Ulcer Reduction Team at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals. She worked with ward staff across the Northern General, Royal Hallamshire, Weston Park and Jessops hospital sites, supporting patients with pressure ulcers, leg ulcers, surgical and other various wounds. During this time she was involved in various projects to reduce pressure ulcers and teaching staff. Joanna also completed a master’s module in Tissue Viability and Wound Management.

Joanna thoroughly enjoyed her time in Tissue Viability but after three years was ready for a new challenge and moved to the Walk-in Centre. However, she missed having ongoing involvement in patient care and after a year moved to a care home for people with complex needs, specialising in neurological conditions, brain and spinal injuries. Here she became Unit Manager for a ten bedded unit, Joanna encouraged client involvement, supported staff through changes in home management and ran pressure ulcer and dignity awareness activities. It was through working there that she found out about STEPS and came to an open day.

"From the moment I walked into STEPS I felt it was somewhere special and the opportunity to work in specialist rehabilitation combined with the ethos of putting clients first and at the heart of care really resonated with me and the rest, as they say, is history!"

When not at work Joanna enjoys running with friends and she is training for a half marathon. She is also working on completing her Masters in Health Studies at Huddersfield University.