5 minutes with our Smoking Cessation Nurse, Kate

Kate has been a qualified nurse for 18 years and has been working as an Advanced Nurse Practitioner for the past 11 years. Kate spends her weeks running the Smoking Cessation service for Teladoc Health four days a week and also works in her local GP practice as an Advanced Nurse Practitioner one day per week.

Kate talks to us about what she thinks of the virtual Smoking Cessation service, what patients can expect, and some top tips for achieving a healthier lifestyle. 

What happens in a virtual Smoking Cessation consultation?  

After you have requested your appointment you will be booked in for a telephone consultation with a clinician who is trained in Smoking Cessation. The first consultation is generally the longest and takes approximately 45 minutes to complete. During this consultation, the clinician will take a very thorough smoking history and talk to you about any previous quit attempts you may have had. We take a look at your dependency on nicotine by using a scoring system and then make a plan together that involves setting a quit date that works well for you. We talk about different the nicotine replacement therapies available and offer advice regarding how to best prepare for your quit date.

After this initial consultation, we will arrange to call you on your quit date to offer further support. As part of the smoking cessation service, we also arrange consultations to speak with you on week 1, week 2, week 3, week 4, 3 months, and 8 months smoke-free.

Can you share some recent anon examples of how you have helped patients coming into the service?

I recently had a patient who was smoking approximately 15 cigarettes per day and had been doing so for approximately 20 years. I took a thorough history which revealed the number of cigarettes would dramatically increase in certain situations. We found the patient was suffering from social anxiety and was using smoking as a way to escape certain situations that they found overwhelming. 

We agreed it was best to approach this using a multidisciplinary approach. The patient agreed that they needed some help with managing anxiety so I sign-posted them to our mental health team who were able to support the patient by talking about different coping mechanisms they could try to help manage social anxiety. With smoking cessation support and mental health support we were able to help this patient stop smoking.

What do you most enjoy about working for Teladoc Health?

I value having time to talk with patients, consultations are not rushed and we always have the time to discuss what is best for individual patients and what is needed to support them in becoming smoke-free.  

I also enjoy working with many different disciplines. Sometimes during a smoking cessation consultation, it can reveal other areas in which the patient may be struggling. It’s nice to have the option to refer these patients to other services for further support e.g. nutrition or physio

What is the professional achievement you’re most proud of?

I am proud that I managed to gain a first-class honour degree and have worked my way up from a newly qualified nurse to an Advanced Nurse Practitioner and prescriber.  

I am proud to have worked as a Specialist Nurse alongside world-leading cardiac surgeons at one of the most experienced centres in the world for heart and lung transplants. During this time I provided training and support to both patients and medical staff across the UK. I am also proud to have had the opportunity to work with UKHSA during the pandemic providing advice and support to many different services including Care Homes and Hospitals.

What are your go-to snacks during the day?

Usually fruit or sometimes malt loaf (Soreen) if feeling particularly hungry. I do have a sweet tooth so will sometimes treat myself to a bar of fruit and nut chocolate!



What are your top 5 tips for people looking to achieve a healthier life?

-Try to exercise regularly, even if it is just getting out for a walk on your lunch break

-Drink plenty of water

-Try to stick to a healthy, well-balanced diet

-Take time out for yourself, spend time with friends/ family

-Stop smoking



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