The nurses 

The role of the nurse is hugely important in the treatment of a patient. They coordinate the care and act as the key contact for the patient, providing support, information to the patient and their family, and answering any questions. They also organise investigations and the taking of blood samples.

The nurses featured in the programme were Analie Morales, Helena Stone and Anne Jennings.

Analie Morales - Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)

Analie writes: As the CNS for the Interventional Oncology Service, I am directly involved in providing care for patients who suffers from Lung, Liver and Kidney cancer. I enjoy working with the team of consultant radiologists who provide treatment by way of either heating up or freezing (ablations) the tumour of patient.

 

My weekly routine varies on a day to day basis but most of my days are focused on patients and their wellbeing.

 

In the clinic, I join the consultant to learn the patient’s medical history. I find it very interesting and it is helpful when it comes to understanding the images of their scan, along with the consultant’s explanation of the treatment plan to the patient.

 

I do the pre-assessment for non-complex cases. By doing this, I get the chance to get to know the patient very well and establish a friendly relationship. I always aim to put my patient at ease so that they will feel free to ring me any time if they have queries about their treatment.

 

I help and facilitate their admission to the hospital and ensure that they have no more questions or doubts about the treatment before the actual procedure. I visit them in recovery to ensure they are comfortable enough while recovering and also to make them feel that they are not alone, as often they have no family beside them straight after the procedure.

 

After recovery, I also followed them on the ward just to check up on them. On discharge, I give them their discharge information along with my assurance that I am always there for them whenever they need me.

 

There are lots of challenges in my role and my biggest one is controlling my emotions when something unpleasant happens to my patient. It is never easy to be cheerful when you have to impart sad news. But being a CNS means I can make more difference to my patients and I will be there for as long as I can manage to put a smile on a patient’s face.

Helena Stone - Senior Research Nurse

Helena writes: My role is both complex and varied, every day presents a different challenge. My work is concentrated on one trial, which is the INDEX Study. My role is to coordinate the day-to-day running of the study, along with one of the Research Fellows. I also help to prepare trial specific documentation as well as co-ordinate the initiation, management and completion of the study.

 

A big part of my work is dedicated to ensuring that patients give fully informed consent before being enrolled in the study; making sure that patients are given all the information they need and that they fully understand the purpose of the study, including potential risks and benefits and what will happen if they agree to participate.

 

Part of this involves screening for potential patients at outpatient clinics as well as during multi-disciplinary team meetings. Once a patient is enrolled on the study I act as their key contact. I follow up patients in our research clinic with the Research Fellow, or independently as part of the study protocol.

 

As INDEX is open at six other hospital sites in the UK, I also act as their key contact, supporting the other nurses running the study at these sites.

 

I am responsible for collecting and recording data for the patients at UCLH, in addition to coordinating the data collection from the other study sites. I also visit the other sites to monitor their data and ensure that they are complying with study standards.

 

Another part of my role is to assist in the education and support of junior members of our research team with study specific procedures (like the processing of Bio Banking samples).