World Cancer Day is an international day marked on February 4th to raise awareness of Cancer. World Cancer Day aims to encourage the prevention, detection and treatment and to also show support for those affected by Cancer. For World Cancer Day, Risalina Nitro-Arenas of The Cromwell Hospital gives us an insight to her daily life as an Oncology Nurse and how she supports her patients by acting as a main point of support throughout their treatment journey.
"As a Clinical Oncology Nurse Navigator my main role is to coordinate care of newly diagnosed patients prior to Chemotherapy, Chemoradiation and Radio Iodine Treatment. I act as a point of contact throughout the patient journey by improving cancer disease management and their experience.
My working hours are between 0800-1600. I have a diary for patients who needs follow-up phone calls after their first cycle of chemotherapy and for patients who needs PET-CT scans, thyrogen injections, blood tests and follow up results.
At 0800 I start to check my emails and respond. An email example that I may receive is from a patient with Prostate Cancer who had treatment with us and is requesting to have a blood test and a follow up appointment with a consultant. Another example may be a patient emailing for me to check their blood results completed by their GP prior to starting oral chemotherapy.
At 9am I will support the chemotherapy day unit and discuss new patient’s treatment plan alongside the Pre-SACT (Systemic Anti-Cancer Therapy) checklist. I will then hand over to the Chemotherapy Nurse Specialist and raise any issues and concerns for ongoing patient receiving chemotherapy.
Once 10am arrives I will check the list of Monday – Friday out-patient appointments for each Oncologist and I will support them in clinic. I will support newly diagnosed patients or any patient who had re-staging Pet-Ct scan/MRI/ USS and blood test and provide the information to the consultant.
From 1100-1230 I join the ward rounds with the Multidisciplinary Team (MDT). We assess all the inpatients and liaise with the International Patient Centre (IPC) staff representatives and update them on any changes to the patient’s treatment this includes; chemotherapy regime, dose reduction and date of treatment and endorse the changes to CNS and Charge Nurse of Chemotherapy Day Unit.
At 1430 I lead the inpatient MDT and every two weeks we discuss the current management plan and document it to all necessary patients’ notes.
1530- My last duty of the day is to write up all my patient documents.
There are other duties that do come into my day, including the below: • I receive external calls from both abroad or in the UK with enquiries about our sub-speciality Oncologists. The patient will give detail regarding their tumour and they will enquire about the cost of the treatment. I liaise with the Oncology Pharmacists and inform the patient of the next steps, through the advice given by our Medical Oncology Adviser. I will book the patient an appointment if they agree with the recommendation.• I may also receive calls from patients or family members reporting symptoms related to chemotherapy such as; fever, diarrhoea, nausea and vomiting. I would advise the patient to be admitted if necessary.• I support the Oncology ward investigating incidents, outcomes, and lessons learnt from the incidents, as well as the Structural Judgement Review for a patient who passed away.• I support the ward for any shortages of staff by being a leader of the Oncology department. I am accountable to ensure that the patients are well looked after by the allocated nurses and ensure that they report any urgent changes to the patients condition to the medical team."
Clinical Oncology Nurse Navigator.
The Cromwell Hospital.