Helen graduated with a degree in Pharmacology in 2002, qualifying as a Registered Veterinary Nurse in the UK in 2005. She has worked nationally and internationally, gathering experience in referral medicine and surgery, charity practice, emergency nursing and exotics.
In 2013 she qualified as a human centred nurse, initially working in cardiothoracic intensive care. Currently she works as a Transplant Nurse Specialist. Day to day she supports living kidney donors through the process of donation. She also holds an on call role, managing the logistics of matching, retrieving and transplanting abdominal organs from deceased donors.
Helen remains a RVN and has developed a strong interest in the principles of One Health. Her first textbook, Veterinary Nursing Care Plans: Theory and Practice was published in 2018. Currently she is working on her MSc Healthcare Management.
In an increasingly complex world with more expertise and more specialisation, it is less effective in any setting for one person to give orders and others to follow. This is the thinking behind ‘Shared Leadership’ which is a model increasingly promoted within the human healthcare setting. In many cases, no individual clinician is an expert in all aspects of the care needed for the patient and therefore cannot lead the others in the team through an entirely command and control model. Instead, individuals within the team take on leadership responsibilities associated with their own area of specialism or interest. Shared leadership offers the potential to empower, and motivate staff at all stages of their career, and allow those in the formal leadership role to delegate with confidence.
Helen Ballantyne obtained a degree in Pharmacology before becoming a veterinary nurse. After ten years as a RVN, she retrained as a human centred nurse, spending two years in cardiothoracic intensive care before moving into transplant nursing. She will share her thoughts on how the shared leadership model may be applied to veterinary practice, with particular emphasis on empowering nurses to achieve better outcomes for their patients, their clients, themselves and the whole practice team.