How did you fall into becoming an oncology nurse?
Before I was a nurse, I volunteered at the Ronald McDonald House at Westmead where I met some beautiful oncology families who were so inspiring. After that, I worked on the neurology/neurosurgery ward at Sydney Kids as an enrolled nurse for 5 years while completing my registered nursing degree. I looked after some amazing children who were battling brain tumours, providing care mainly when first diagnosed and post tumour resections. Once I completed my registered nursing degree I knew I wanted to be an oncology nurse. I was in awe of how incredible the patients and families I had met over the years were, and wanted to give them the best possible care I could. I have worked in oncology for two years now.
What do you love most about your job?
I absolutely adore looking after the kids. I love having a chat and a laugh with them and their families. I think building a rapport with the kids is so important in order to help them feel safe and genuinely cared for. They aren’t just another kid, they are important and loved, and we are fighting for them.
How do you take care of your mental health? Is it a hard job to do?
Oncology nursing is tough! But the level of passion, dedication, and love I witness from families for their children makes everything we do so worthwhile. I feel like I am fighting along side them and we are a team. To care for my mental health, I go to the gym, meditate, and read. I also spend lots of time with my loved ones.
What wins your day?
When a kids personality shines through and they get chatting about something they absolutely love. This is particularly special when a kid has been pretty unwell. There are times when we look after kids that we will barely here them say a word for days to weeks. And when you here them talk and giggle for the first time…it absolutely makes everything we do worthwhile.
If you’re not in ward, where would we find you? What would you be doing?
I’m currently at university studying my diploma of paediatric nursing. I’m also involved in a couple of projects at our hospital to help improve delivery of care. Otherwise, I spend my free time with my family, friends and my dogs.
Carers don’t get meals yet spend every minute of every day in ward. Win the day supplies meals for carers. What are your thoughts on this?
I think Win The Day is so extraordinary for coming up with this idea. I feel like our poor parents go without so much of the time. As nurses, I think we sometimes get tunnel vision and forget about our parents. Knowing they will be well-nourished and have one less thing to worry about is so valuable.