Meet clinical linguist Wencke Veenstra
We already had a closer look at Roelien Bastiaanse, professor of Neurolinguistics at the RUG. Now we will introduce you to our second clinical linguist, Wencke Veenstra MSc. She is performing the language testing with the patient before, during and after surgery. Find out here how she made it to this position and how her work life looks like.
She works as a neuropsychologist at the University Medical Center Groningen. After finishing her study in Linguistics at the University of Groningen, with a period at the Speech and Language faculty at the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, she studied Clinical psychology specialising in neuro- and biopsychology. Since 2005 she has been working as a neuropsychologist at the University Medical Center Groningen and is specialised in language deficits, awake surgery and neuropsychology from infancy into adulthood.
Since 2016, she has been working as a lecturer for Clinical Linguistics at the University of Groningen, teaching international students all aspects of Language Testing during Awake Brain Surgery, combining the two worlds of highly complex healthcare and academic research.
What she enjoys about her work: practicing highly complex healthcare, pioneering in the field of Language Testing during Awake Brain Surgery, being part of the international and national network of Low Grade Glioma researchers and clinicians. Together with top researchers in clinical linguistics, developing new instruments to improve clinical care for patients. In the end, what is utmost important and what she enjoys the most, is contact with patients and guiding them through all stages of awake brain surgery.
Furthermore, she likes being a part of a multidisciplinary highly skilled team of neurosurgeon, anaesthesiologist and clinical neurophysiologists. The most fulfilling is when patients who thought they could never do it, successfully completed the awake brain surgery with confidence and satisfaction.
In daily work life she is diagnosing patients with neuropsychological and linguistic tests, preparing them for awake brain surgery, performing intra-operative tests and language mapping and monitoring during craniotomy, guiding them through the awake phase of surgery, performing direct postoperative evaluation of language (bedside), postoperative neuropsychological assessment/follow up, and referral for rehabilitation if applicable.
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