May 12 is International Nurses Day, and Cancer Council NSW is highlighting the incredible work of our nurses and other healthcare professionals who work as Cancer Council Liaisons and 13 11 20 Information and Support consultants across the state.
With cancer affecting almost 1 in 2 Australians, having access to experienced nurses and other health professionals who are available to provide information, emotional support and service navigation is more important than ever.
Nurses at Cancer Council work in different capacities, whether it’s providing practical and emotional support via the 13 11 20 Information and Support line, or working alongside cancer treatment teams as Cancer Council Liaisons, helping cancer patients and their families find the services they may require at any given time.
Meet Kelly King, Cancer Council Liaison at Gosford Hospital
Kelly King is a Cancer Council Liaison based at Central Coast Cancer Centre at Gosford Hospital. She’s a healthcare professional in a non-clinical role, supporting patients from their initial diagnosis through to survivorship.
Kelly says “my role means that patients and carers have access to relevant evidence-based information, short term emotional support and linked if appropriate with services through Cancer Council and external organisations available.”
Having experience in cancer care as a registered nurse and also having worked on Cancer Council’s 13 11 20 Information and Support line, Kelly understands the value of support in the right place at the right time, saying “a diagnosis of cancer can be very overwhelming for patients, carers and their families. Often with a cancer diagnosis a range of practical and emotional concerns can arise such as distress and financial worries.”
Maryann Parsons, works to optimise healthy outcomes for patients that visit the Northwest Cancer Centre
Maryann Parsons says her personal experience in caring for a close friend strengthened her belief in the need for comprehensive cancer support for patients and their families. “I was never prompted to contact Cancer Council during this time, which motivated me to become a Cancer Council Liaison and advocate for wellbeing” says Maryann.
“I have seen firsthand the importance of emotional support for patients undergoing cancer treatment.” Maryann says that in her experience as a registered nurse, patients benefit greatly from having someone on their medical team who can assist in providing help and check in on their emotional wellbeing.
Maryann says “my drive to become a nurse and Cancer Council Liaison and advocate for cancer patients and their families is rooted in my belief in the importance of emotional support during cancer treatment. Nurses play a crucial role in our healthcare system and International Nurses Day highlights the need to appreciate, respect and value their contributions.”
This International Nurses Day, and every day, we say thank you to all nurses working across the state to ensure patients receive the best cancer care.