Breast cancer care has come a long way in the past decade thanks to the formidable efforts of people such as Dr Amanda Hordern.
In 1997 Dr Hordern, Deputy Director of The Cancer Council Victoria, developed the first tertiary-based Distance Education Program for Breast Care Nurses. Since its inception, the program has grown from a single unit of study to a pathway for higher education.
In collaboration with The Cancer Council Victoria, Latrobe University offers the program for nurses as a tertiary unit titled ‘Breast Cancer Disease Entity in Nursing Practice' as well as a core unit in the graduate certificate and post-graduate diploma of Breast Care Nursing at Latrobe University.
More than 30 students enrol each semester and over 700 Australian nurses have become accredited with The Cancer Council Victoria.
"Breast care nurses are integral to the care of women with breast cancer and play an important role in the multidisciplinary team," Dr Amanda Hordern said.
"They provide specialised information, support and care to women at an emotionally and physically challenging time.
"The Breast Cancer Disease Entity in Nursing Practice offers nurses a comprehensive foundation to understand the treatment of breast cancer. It also examines the psychosocial and emotional impact of breast cancer at diagnosis, once treatment has completed and if breast cancer becomes advanced. "
Dr Hordern said ensuring the program reflected current clinical practice was critical and the program was currently being reviewed.
"The opportunity to improve the program is an exciting one and one that will ensure the high standard of education delivered continues into the future. I look forward to the continued growth in education for breast care nurses in the future and helping enhance the treatment and survival of women with breast cancer."
See details for current breast care nurses training program or visit our breast care nurses listing to find a breast care nurse near you.
The Cancer Information and Support Service is a unique service for women with breast cancer.
- Access to qualified cancer nurses, Monday to Friday, 8.30am-8pm
Direct access to ‘Breast Cancer Connect', a formal telephone peer support program linking women who have been through similar cancer experiences
Information, support and resources to assist health professionals to provide patient centred care
For more information, call the Cancer Council Helpline on 13 11 20.