People in Private: Jennifer Gilbert

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After living in the United Kingdom for more than 20 years, Jennifer Gilbert is loving her work with Icon Group as a clinical nurse consultant specialising in the treatment of lymphoedema.

And with a family connection to Florence Nightingale, it’s clear this popular and hardworking expert is in the right place.

What do you love about your job and why?
I love that I can support and improve the lives of the people I treat, not only physically but holistically. This makes my job rewarding. Icon Group is an organisation that strives toward continual improvement, is focused on its values, and supports and encourages staff to achieve their best. It is also made more enjoyable because I have fantastic colleagues!

Why did you become a Clinical Nurse Consultant in Lymphoedema?
I did not plan to specialise in the treatment of lymphoedema, in fact like most I did not know what it was. As I learned more, I became excited by the difference I could make. I realised that lymphology is a field of medicine where I could have a positive influence on the lives and wellbeing of so many people with uncomfortable and distressing condition. I have been learning about and treating lymphoedema for 20 years, and even in this time our understanding has grown so much. And some of what we believed 20 years ago has been disproven today. We know so much more now about how the lymphatics are formed, how they work and genetic causes of some of the congenital and syndromic lymphoedemas.

Do you have a favourite quote or phrase?
I don’t have one favourite phrase, I have three that inspire and guide me. The first is “never to assume”; the second is “to treat others as I would like to be treated”; and the third is that “I can achieve with hard work”.

What is something about you your colleagues don’t know?
That my maternal ancestors are related to Florence Nightingale by marriage and I grew up in Thailand until I was 12.

How do your friends describe you?
I am told that I am “lovely, friendly and hardworking”.

What do you do in your spare time? Any hobbies?
I am trying to learn to play the cello again and I enjoy bushwalking. I also like to catch up with friends and keep abreast of research and best practice in lymphoedema management.

What is something you want to achieve this year?
Having returned to Australia in May after 22 years in the UK, I am focussed on spending time with family and rekindling old friendships. Professionally, I look forward to being part of the growth and development of the lymphoedema service at Icon Group.

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