WHERE DO YOU WORK?
Northern Adelaide Local Health Network (NALHN) Lyell McEwin Hospital, Adelaide, South Australia
WHAT IS YOUR CURRENT ROLE?
Specialist Lung Cancer Nurse (0.5FTE) & Respiratory Nurse Consultant (0.4FTE)
WHAT LED YOU TO WORKING WITHIN THE AREA OF LUNG CANCER?
I started working with Respiratory patients in 2016 and then transitioned into a Respiratory Nurse Consultant role in 2019, working with a wide range of respiratory chronic diseases along with Home Oxygen and IPC management. Then in 2021 I added to my portfolio Lung Cancer Support Nurse where I participated heavily within the Lung Cancer MDT and ensuring patients referrals, tests, appointments and ongoing treatment were co-ordinated. I’m now working in collaboration with Lung Foundation Australia in their pilot program as NALHN’s Specialist Lung Cancer Nurse which I job share.
WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT YOUR ROLE?
I really enjoy being a support person for patients, their families and loved ones to help guide them through all stages of their lung cancer journey and cater education to their individual needs. I always aim to introduce myself as early as possible to help patients navigate through all the tests, scans, procedures and appointments. I really enjoy working collaboratively amongst all areas Respiratory, Oncology, Palliative Care and outreach programs.
WHAT DO YOU FIND THE MOST CHALLENGING ABOUT YOUR ROLE?
By far the most challenging part of this role thus far is dealing with time constraints, lack of space and capacity for all urgent lung cancer patients to be seen within the OCP. On a personal level I have found at times that not being able to give patients the answers they want, and watching them worry and stress, but I understand that my role is there to guide them through this time.
WHAT PIECE OF ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE INTERESTED IN WORKING IN THE FIELD OF LUNG CANCER?
For anyone looking to work within the lung cancer field, I would encourage them to educate themselves as much as possible. There are numerous amazing educational websites, webinars and education tools out there and you can source them on the Cancer Council, Lung Foundation Australia and eviQ websites. I would encourage them to join amazing nursing associations and groups like this one. I have found networking to be the most useful way to navigate this new role. This year I was able to attend TOGA in Melbourne where I could cast my net and meet a long list of similar, passionate people working in the lung cancer field.
WHAT HOBBIES / ACTIVITIES DO YOU ENJOY OUTSIDE OF WORK?
I enjoy being active both in the gym and going for walks, especially love taking my beautiful Barry (mini-labradoodle) for walks through a local trail near my house where I can decompress and re-set. I love to cook and feed my friends / family whenever I get the chance to. To be honest, I’m an 80 year old lady in a 32 year old body because I love to knit, paint and embroidering. I find these hobbies also help to quiet my mind and this is often when I brainstorm some great ideas.