As a trained nurse, Joanna specialised in Intensive Care and it was during this period of her career that she gained her certificate in Counselling and reached the position of Sister. In 1989 she took on a new role as Resuscitation Officer and set up Resuscitation Services covering eleven hospitals in the SW Surrey District based at the Royal Surrey County Hospital. Her role was to deliver education in the specialised field of resuscitation to inter-professional groups. Here she introduced debriefing as a method for staff to learn and grow after major trauma incidents. In this setting coaching was particularly powerful in helping foster the principles of curiosity and an open and non-judgemental approach — key factors when trying to learn lessons from a traumatic event.
In 1995 Joanna became manager of the Accident and Emergency department, Out Patients and Resuscitation Service. In this role she began using her coaching skills as part of her daily work in order to develop staff, negotiate difficult decisions and manage conflict. In 1996 now as Business Manager of these services, she gained her Diploma in Management Studies at Kingston University. In 1998 she moved from the hospital to the University of Surrey to undertake a national feasibility study to determine the need to set up a professional body for Resuscitation Officers (RO). Whilst there, she undertook her MBA, again at Kingston University. After successfully proving the need for a professional organisation for RO’s, she remained in post as the CEO of the newly formed organisation for a further two years in order to set up and mentor the Executive Board.
In 2003 Joanna left to devote her time to Back to Life Ltd (BTL), a training company which she set up in 1992 to provide education services to GP’s and Dentists in the South West Surrey area. Today BTL provides courses all over the UK to; Primary and Secondary care, mental health organisations, GP’s, Dentist, schools and colleges. As Managing Director of BTL, Joanna leads a team which provides excellence in quality assurance for her clients.
For the past fifteen years she has been a Senior Lecturer at Brighton and Sussex Medical School, as part of the faculty delivering a level 7 course in Simulation in which she runs the Debriefing module. The foundations of this are strongly derived from her knowledge and skills as a coach. Since being at Brighton she has been the recipient of two awards; Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and Facilitating and Empowering Learners. In 2015 she gained her Certificate in Coaching Practice from Middlesex University through the i-coach academy and in 2018 was appointed as an Educator for the Resuscitation Council UK and Advanced Life Support Group. In 2019 she became an instructor for the European Resuscitation Council.
Joanna enjoys using her skills, knowledge and capabilities for her charitable work at Bethlehem University, supporting the team whilst they develop and grow their simulation nursing curriculum.
For her own wellbeing Joanna takes part in a number of physical challenges each year. Whether it is healthcare, sport or personal, coaching is a constant and valuable strand that weaves through her life both personally and professionally.