Cancer Care Coordinator Update - November 2015
The role of Cancer Care Coordinator has begun with great support from patients, nursing and allied health staff, doctors and specialists. The new position was published throughout all Calvary media as well as our Gibson Unit Oncology patient e-newsletter and the DCLF was gratefully acknowledged.
Referrals come largely through the oncologists directly, the dedicated chemo nurses and patients themselves. We have a large list of outpatients already that we are regularly providing services for, infact we have been overwhelmed with response. We are providing service coordination, treatment coordination, education, counselling, practical assistance, project work and specialised medical advice from Cath.
Telephone support as well as face to face contact provides continuity of care that is unprecedented at the Gibson Unit. We are tracking our interventions through newly devised cancer care coordinator statistics which will provide a fuller picture of the role as time progresses.
We have developed strong links with organisations who can assist patients during their illness and have become part of a Hobart based Care Coordination network who meet monthly. It is a wonderful source of information and networking opportunity and new referral sources have already been formed.
We are focusing on developing the role through consumer input and will be running a focus group of past patients soon to get their ideas on how we can enhance patient care for outpatients.
Cath Youl recently attended the COSA conference and is developing new medical processes and system, including communication systems in the unit for care of chemotherapy patients as a result and enhancing our standard of care through this. Cath has been highly active educating nursing staff along the way via email, individually and in a morning study day for our chemotherapy nurses.
The combination of an experienced nurse and social worker sharing the role has provided an outstanding opportunity to utilise the two professional skill bases and knowledge so that more holistic and targeted care can be provided to patients. Staff have reported feeling more fully supported in their role due to the position as well. A wonderful example of this occurred last week when a blood cancer patient was referred to us via a child community health nurse. The patient who was mother with a newborn baby and only just begun treatment was at a crisis point and was able to be given immediate counselling by Neeta Oakley and have in home childcare arranged for her so she could cope in the complex situation. She was given excellent medical guidance by Cath Youl during her physical and mental reaction to her first treatment which had frightening side effects for the patient and Cath can continue to monitor this and work with the multi- disciplinary team to addressing the patient’s treatment regime.
We are completely confident that this position is greatly enhancing care for our oncology patients and we look forward to reporting on our coming endeavours.
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