Working life: Emer McNulty, Health Check Nurse, Irish Heart Foundation

6.30am
Working life: Emer McNulty, Health Check Nurse, Irish Heart Foundation

This involves checking the equipment used for the health screenings.

We are due to launch the Irish Heart Foundation’s first custom-built mobile unit next week. It will be fantastic to travel on the vehicle that actually delivers our service.

People will be able to avail of free blood-pressure checks all year around with this unit.

9am

This morning we are offering health checks to the Travelling community on a halting site. Research shows that members of the Travelling community tend not to make their health a priority.

We regularly encounter not only members of the Travelling community but other client groups who have stopped taking their prescribed medicines.

I encourage them to discuss any problems they are having with their medication with their GP or local pharmacist.

We carry out routine health checks which include cholesterol, blood-pressure, height, weight, waist circumference, body mass index (BMI) and carbon monoxide checks.

An important part of my job is to discuss the importance of a healthy lifestyle.

1pm

I try to eat a light lunch with some fruit and take at least a 10-15 minute walk to stretch my legs.

2pm

In the afternoon we head to a nearby shopping centre where we offer free blood-pressure and pulse checks to the public. We regularly find people who have elevated blood-pressure, irregular heartbeat or both.

While we do not make a diagnosis, we do provide written information and advise clients to visit their GPs for further investigations.

Sometimes we spend a full day in the farmers’ marts which could be anywhere throughout the country.

I really enjoy these days as I meet elderly farmers who come to the mart for social interaction.

Rural isolation can be a big issue for older farmers. It is a privilege to meet them and listen to their health issues.

5pm

We wrap up for the day. My hope is to have had a positive impact on the heart-health of the people I have met throughout the day.

7pm

Weather permitting, I enjoy a spot of gardening or a long walk by the sea.

I love regular visits from my one-year-old granddaughter, Abbie, who keeps me on my toes.

* Emer McNulty, Health Check Nurse, Irish Heart Foundation

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