Janet Cairnie’s blog on complementary therapies in the dialysis unit

Janet Cairnie

Janet Cairnie

My name is Janet Valerie Cairnie. I am 49 years of age and I have been married to John for 30 years. We have two beautiful grown up children and 4 grandchildren.

In the past I have had mundane jobs in the secretarial field and have worked in a number of GP and medical practices which I enjoyed. None of my previous jobs was really my passion and I felt something was missing.

When my children flew the nest I wanted to find something I was really interested in and doing something for myself.

I became a mature student at 40 (which was very nerve wracking) and started a 2 year Foundation Degree in Complementary Therapies at Wigan & Leigh College, I went on to do a 3rd year in Integrated Therapies in Practice BSc Hons at Salford University. I am so glad I did because it changed my life, made me more independent and I have met some wonderful people.

My aim has always been to work in a role within the NHS delivering and teaching Therapies.  I had 3 and a half years’ experience of working on the renal unit in Wigan in a volunteer capacity before deciding to acquire a qualification in teaching, so off I went again back to University at Bolton and I enrolled for the PGDE qualifying last year.

This autumn, I was very excited to see that Salford Royal with a grant from the British Kidney Patient Association had advertised a post for a complimentary therapist to set up a programme to train in-house volunteers to deliver complimentary therapy on their 5 dialysis units. I applied for the position in October and went armed with so many ideas; I was very excited but also very nervous. I must have done ok because they offered me the job there and then.

My new role is to recruit and train volunteers so that they can go onto any of the 5 renal units in Great Manchester Salford Royal look after (Oldham, Rochdale, Bolton, Salford, and Wigan). These volunteers will give treatments to the patients whilst they are on dialysis. Not only can this be a lovely treatment but it can help ease stress, tension and anxiety whilst patients are receiving their dialysis treatment. Therapies have been used in many clinical practices in the past and there is a lot of research and evidence to prove that it works and can be extremely beneficial to the recipient.

I offer a range of therapies including Aromatherapy, Reflexology, Indian Head Massage and Reiki.

I am very caring, patient and understanding, non-judgemental and easily approachable as well as being a good listener. So if you see me around any of the 5 renal units please feel free to say “Hello!”. I have the first interviews with potential volunteers coming up already and we hope to be starting treatments gradually across the 5 units during 2016

If you have any friends, family members or colleagues that are interested in learning a new skill and training in a short course of Complementary Therapies in order to become a volunteer, then please get in touch – I’d love to hear from you! janet.cairnie@srft.nhs.uk


Janet Cairnie – Complementary Therapy Practitioner, Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust

Base Office: Wigan Renal Unit, Boston House, Wigan.

Tel :- 0161 206 4827

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