Katherine is the Nurse Manager of Cancer Council 13 11 20 and has always specialized in oncology nursing. From her years of experience in caring for cancer patients, her role now allows her to provide the emotional and practical support that was challenging to offer in a busy clinical setting.
What kind of issues do you hear from people with cancer around the start of a year?
When the warmer weather starts, we often see an increase in calls regarding skin cancer prevention. The New Year is also a time for people to make resolutions about their health and people will often ask about types of screening in general. For those who have finished treatment, they may be interested in finding ways to regain some normalcy heading into a new year.
How did you get involved in working in cancer care? What lead you down the path to becoming Nurse Manager of Cancer Council 13 11 20?
Early in my career I specialised in oncology and worked in both in- and out-patient clinics. When a colleague started work as a nurse on Cancer Council 13 11 20, she said it was a tremendous way to provide the emotional and practical kinds of support that can be challenging in a busy hospital setting. I started on the phones myself and over the years moved into managing this team of 13 nurses.
Describe a typical day at Cancer Council 13 11 20?
On an average day, our nurses will take calls, assist in the wig service or respond to ‘Ask a Nurse' emails. We also have research projects such as ‘Healthy Living after Cancer Project'. This study is aimed at patients who have completed treatment and want assistance with diet and physical activity. They receive up to 12 coaching calls over 6 months from a Cancer Council nurse and can focus on health and lifestyle goals important to them.
What is the best thing about being a Cancer Council nurse?
This role provides an opportunity to work with people at all stages of the cancer trajectory, with any cancer type. Whether a patient, their family or friend calls, we can take the time to listen and ensure they are linked in with the right support at the right time.
Call 13 11 20 today and speak to an experienced and understanding cancer nurse.
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