Transitioning from community nursing to tissue viability felt like a natural career progression, given my foundational knowledge of wounds and dressings. Embracing the challenges and adventures of this role, I eventually advanced to the position of a Tissue Viability Nurse Specialist
Deborah Chester Bessell
Teaching and Learning fellow at the University of Salford
Current SoTV role
Q1- When did you realise you wanted to specialise in tissue viability?
I discovered my passion for Tissue Viability while working as a community staff nurse. My day-to-day duties involved managing chronic, hard-to-heal wounds and leg ulcers, which intrigued me. The intricate nature of these conditions and the opportunity to make a meaningful difference in patients’ lives inspired me to pursue further expertise in this field.
Q2 – Can you briefly describe your journey to your current role?
I became a qualified adult registered nurse in 2015 and immediately entered community nursing, where I visited patients and their families in their own homes. For 2.5 years, I served as a community staff nurse before transitioning to the role of a temporary caseload holder (Band 6). While in the process of establishing this temporary position, a Tissue Viability Nurse (TVN) colleague informed me of an available position within the team. I was successful in obtaining the position.
Transitioning from community nursing to tissue viability felt like a natural career progression, given my foundational knowledge of wounds and dressings. Embracing the challenges and adventures of this role, I eventually advanced to the position of a Tissue Viability Nurse Specialist. Throughout my journey, I cherished the educational opportunities, both in teaching and learning from peers and student nurses.
This passion for education prompted me to apply for the role of Teaching and Learning Fellow at the University of Salford. Here, I have the privilege to impart knowledge and share my enthusiasm for wound care and leg ulcers with students, further enriching my professional journey.
Q3 – What do you feel has been your greatest achievement in your career to date?
One of my most significant achievements thus far has been co-authoring a chapter in a leg ulcer book and contributing to a journal article on wounds in homeless individuals. Additionally, I’ve had the privilege of connecting with numerous individuals who share a sincere desire to effect positive change. These experiences have been deeply rewarding and inspiring.
Q4 – If you could give your younger self some valuable advice, what would it be?
If I could offer advice to my younger self, it would be to engage in networking opportunities earlier. Through these experiences, I’ve connected with a multitude of supportive individuals who have offered invaluable guidance and assistance along my career journey.
One of these invaluable connections was finding the Society of Tissue Viability and becoming a member. The Associate Forum and the meetings have been invaluable for keeping myself as a practitioner up to date and have also given me the opportunity to attend conferences and network with lots of likeminded individuals.