Natalie, a 13 11 20 cancer nurse, has worked in Oncology with both adults and children for over 17 years, in both metro and regional Victoria, and NSW. Natalie works part time at Cancer Council Victoria and in hospitals in the Day Oncology ward.
Julie has been working as a cancer nurse for over 25 years. Julie works part time as a cancer nurse at Cancer Council Victoria and in hospitals in the Day Oncology ward. Throughout her career, Julie has worked as a breast care nurse. While studying to be a nurse, Julie’s dad was diagnosed with cancer and she found herself taking on the role of carer.
Both Julie and Natalie agree that calls from carers range from people wanting practical support and an understanding of what services are available for both themselves and the person they are caring for. Some carers may need to take a break from work and are looking for information on what financial assistance is available or they would like information for a cleaning service, to help them at home. Some callers are simply asking for information on the cancer the person they are caring for has or information on the effects of treatment.
One thing that is common is that callers rarely ask about services which assist with them. Julie reflects “very few carers have a sense of self-care and how important it is to do the job they do.”
Services 13 11 20 cancer nurses provide to carers
When a carer calls 13 11 20, Julie and Natalie both recommend carers look into our Family Connect program – a phone-based support program for people looking after someone with a cancer diagnosis.
Julie and Natalie may also discuss the idea of joining a community-based support group with the caller, where they can talk about their experience with other people in the same position.
Another terrific resource, recommended to callers are our carer kits which include our publication Caring for Someone with Cancer and other useful phone numbers, including information on where to find financial assistance.
Recently we released the Cancer Services guide, which includes over 470 listings of cancer services. The guide also includes a dedicated chapter for carers.
For more information on any of the programs and resources mentioned, call 13 11 20 for cancer information and support or visit these sites:
Family Connect program: http://www.cancervic.org.au/get-support/connect-and-learn/cancer_connect
Cancer Support Groups: http://www.cancervic.org.au/get-support/connect-and-learn/support-groups
Caring for Someone with Cancer book: http://www.cancervic.org.au/get-support/family-and-friends/caring-for-someone
Cancer Services guide: http://www.cancervic.org.au/how-we-can-help/cancer-services-guide