Q&A: Rosie Watson, Cancer Council 13 11 20 nurse

Thursday 15 December, 2016 Rosie Watson, Cancer Council 13 11 20 nurse
What kind of issues do you see and hear from people with cancer over the holiday season?

We often hear people's anxiety about not being able to enjoy celebrations due to side effects such as fatigue, taste changes and appetite disturbance. Callers also express concern about disappointing loved ones when they can't meet expectations.

The holiday season is often a time for reflection for people with advanced cancer. There may be deeper concern that family celebrations might not continue for them. Talking about these emotions can relieve the burden. We also suggest practical strategies to conserve energy and connect with family in other ways so they can enjoy themselves as much as possible.

How did you get involved in working in cancer care? Tell us about your other nursing experience.

In my early career I was an intensive care nurse, manager in orthopaedics and trauma, and lecturer to paramedics. I worked for 14 years in Day Oncology at Cabrini Malvern, a busy environment that gave me broad experience in holistic care. I also completed postgraduate study in Cancer and Palliative Care at The University of Melbourne and Prostate Cancer Care at La Trobe University. These qualifications gave me depth and greater expertise in oncology care.

Describe a typical day at Cancer Council 13 11 20.

We answer calls from people at all stages of a cancer diagnosis as well as concerned family members, friends and colleagues. These conversations vary from providing reliable information to giving complex practical and supportive advice, especially for distressed callers.

We acknowledge each callers situation and give people time to tell their story. We explain what to expect from treatments and procedures and support people in their decision making.

What's the best thing about being a Cancer Council nurse?

Working in a dynamic and supportive work environment with a group of experienced nurses who are all committed to making a difference to the lives of people impacted by cancer.   

Call 13 11 20 today and speak to an experienced and understanding cancer nurse. 


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Updated: 15 Dec, 2016