A specialised breast care nurse education program has been revamped and places are now open for 2009.
The postgraduate unit, ‘Breast Care Nursing: Foundations for Practice', is offered by La Trobe University and the Cancer Council Victoria.
Deputy Director, Cancer Information and Support Services, Dr Amanda Hordern, said the unit of study provides foundational knowledge for Breast Care Nurses engaged in evidence based physical and emotional care of women throughout all stages of breast cancer.
"Breast care nurses play a pivotal role in providing breast cancer patients with the appropriate care and speciality services that they need and ensure that patients are aware of all procedures and options available to them throughout their diagnosis and beyond," Dr Hordern said.
"The program has helped breast care nurses become recognised as an important part of the multidisciplinary team in the National Clinical Practice Guidelines; a great step for their career.
"The program has been recently updated and covers complex issues related to sexuality, loss and grief and the provision of psychological support when nursing women with breast cancer.
"Registered nurses across Australia can apply and it is available as a single unit of study or as a pathway to a Masters degree. Offered as a distance education program, students can take on the study by correspondence," she said.
In Australia around 12, 000 families are affected by breast cancer every year, meeting with Breast Care Nurses at many stages throughout their treatment and beyond. This unit gives nurses the opportunity to enter a new speciality area of practice and consolidate clinical knowledge gained through experience in this role for cancer nurses.
Enrolment must be completed by 23 January 2009 for semester 1 and 15 June 2009 for semester 2.
For more information visit www.latrobe.edu.au/nursing or http://www.cancervic.org.au/
Dr Amanda Hordern is available for comment