There is significant data showing the importance of extra health support to patients with cancer. At CGCC it is evident in day to day practice that patients would greatly benefit from easy “in-house” access to supportive care and allied health services. Day patients need the same support as inpatients and that includes access to expert advice from a Social Worker, Dietician and Psychologist as required. Expertise in this area also provides support to the nursing team by allowing them to refer those patients who need help with a wide range of practical, emotional and physical concerns.
Because we care about our patients… Count me in!
Jo, one of the nurses at the Cyril Gilbert Cancer Centre (CGCC), recently took the time to tell us a bit about herself and what the Wellness Program will mean for her patients.
How long have you worked here, Jo?
I have worked at GPH for over 15 years and have been here at the CGCC for seven, which had just opened when I started.
Oncology is my specialty area. It is special because I had a new patient today who was so surprised at how positive everyone was, she couldn’t believe that everyone was being treated for cancer. People have bad days but the feeling here is not one of sadness.
Why do you love working here?
I love it because I really enjoy the patient contact. It is quite an intimate contact we have with our patients because they are all very physically close to us here so everywhere you go you get to see all the patients, even the ones that you are not looking after.
We get to know our patients over a long period time as many patients have on-going treatment that goes for years. In other areas of nursing you don’t have that long term relationship. Even short term treatment here is six to nine months. The patients bring their family members with them so we see families grow up here which is amazing and wonderful.
Why is the Cancer Wellness Program important?
It allows us to reach out to patients and provide an extended service which is important because cancer affects the whole family. Family members support the patients when we are not there which can be large periods of time. The Wellness Program will give patients and their families what they need when they finish treatment and in-between treatment when they are on their own. If we can provide this extra care it can prevent issues down the track. Empowering people to take action is important, so providing education, information and services around prevention of potential issues allows for a much better long term outcome.
Why should people support this program?
Because those extra services are important for overall wellbeing, long term care, family care, prevention of side-effects and best quality of life possible, not just surviving treatment.