After 10 years’ experience working as a chemotherapy nurse, Steph joined Sciensus in June this year (2022) and quickly settled into her new role as a community nurse.
Steph says that educating patients is one of the most rewarding aspects of the job. She takes pride in giving patients thorough information and making them aware of every aspect of their treatment so that they’re happy with the service Sciensus provides.
“It’s important that patients have the right information and that they can ask us questions and make informed choices,” says Steph. “I usually find that if I take time to explain everything early on it helps to answer their questions in the first instance.”
Meeting patients’ needs
A lot of Steph’s patients live in rural areas, so they appreciate the fact that they don’t have to spend lots of time travelling to a hospital.
“They know what time we’re going to arrive at their house, so they can plan their day around that and it gives them a bit more structure and keeps them on a normal pathway,” explains Steph.
“I’ve only ever had positive feedback from the patients that I’ve been seeing. They’re so thankful that we can treat them in their homes at their convenience. It’s great that the service is based around them and their needs.”
Full training and support
Steph had extensive experience in chemotherapy nursing, but the community aspect of the role was new to her when she first joined Sciensus.
She explains that she had a full induction into the role, which included a chemotherapy update course and training and shadowing with an experienced chemotherapy nurse. When she was fully trained, Steph was signed off by a systemic anti-cancer therapy (SACT) Practice Development Nurse (PDN).
“I knew that learning this new aspect of the role of treating patients in their own homes would be a different way of working for me, so the induction was really helpful,” says Steph.
Now that she’s fully trained, Steph enjoys going into patients’ homes and being able to give one-to-one care.
“I can’t fault the support I’ve had in the time I’ve been at Sciensus. There hasn’t been a time when I haven’t felt confident in what I’m doing, knowing the support is there and I can ask for extra help if needed. It’s been such a great start.”
Working independently in the community
There are other aspects of the role that are new to Steph too – she believes that working independently has boosted her wider skillset as a nurse, like communication and managing her own workload.
“Because of the autonomy in the role I’m less reliant on other team members, which means I communicate more directly with the consultants and evaluate patient’s blood test results,” says Steph.
“There’s a good backup team for support. I can rely on the PDNs if I have any questions, and I have a good relationship with them. I also have a clinical specialist nurse who I can call if there are further issues and they’re really helpful.”