Lisa’s Blog: Health Protection Practitioner

Lisa Kenney, is a Health Protection Practitioner for Public Health England based in Kent. She is a registered Nurse and Midwife and has delivered over 100 babies. 

What does your job involve?

I’m part of a team that responds to notifications of infectious diseases in the county. This includes managing outbreaks of infections, attempting to reduce the spread of infectious diseases, giving advice around immunisations as well as health advice during chemical incidents or fires.

What’s your background?

I am qualified as a nurse and midwife. I have been a nurse for six and a half years and a midwife for about three and a half. I still do one or two midwifery shifts a month in the hospital.

I trained as an adult nurse and worked on a surgical ward before doing my midwifery training and later specialising in screening – particularly first trimester screening and foetal abnormalities.

How do the skills you learnt help you in your current job?

One of the most useful skills I learned was the ability to communicate with people. I have looked after people who are acutely unwell and supported families receiving difficult news and making hard decisions regarding their pregnancy, so clear and compassionate communication has always been an important part of my job. It helps me now when I liaise with GP surgeries, hospitals or microbiologists or with giving information to people who are unwell or their relatives. Most of my work is over the phone now, so good communication is vital.

How does it feel to be a nurse and midwife?

I wanted to do something that was rewarding and would make a difference to people.I feel very lucky. It’s a challenging job as you’re with people at the very worst and sometimes the best points in their lives. It’s an honour to be part of that and guide them through in the best way I can.

What do you think about 2020 being the Year of the Nurse and Midwife? 

It’s great to shine a spotlight on the variety of jobs that nurses and midwives do – including mine as a health protection practitioner. 

It’s a brilliant job that opens up so many opportunities and allows you to make a real difference to people. It’s a great way to make nurses and midwives feel valued.