17. A nurse a day keeps the prostate at bay

muppet nurse

They are the unsung hero’s and heroines of the NHS and in our case the Oncology department. Unless of course you end of with Nurse Jackie from TV. So in this blog we shall her from them directly. They identities have been protected by their favorite cakes, Chocolate brownie (CB),  Velvet cake (VC) and Victoria sponge (VS)

How long have you been a nurse?

CB: 10 yrs

VC: 18 yrs

VS: 14 yrs


Why Oncology?

CB: Studied cancer at university

VC: Drifted into it

VS: Privileged to be on this journey and support cancer patients


What’s the most frustrating aspect about your job?

CB: Chasing admin

VC: Not enough time

VS: Not enough resources to fulfil our jobs


What’s the most rewarding aspect of your job?

CB: Patients knowing that they are making a difference

VC: Patient outcome and discharge

VS: Educating patients to take part in research


What’s the most tragic thing you have experienced in Oncology?

CB: A patient dying within three months

VC: Death of a patient under 40

VS: Death of a 16 year old


What’s the happiest experience you have of Oncology?

CB: Knowing that I have made a difference

VC: Post treatment and discharge

VS: People pulling together to create a happy experience


If you were a government minister and you could change one thing what would it be?

CB: More money for the NHS

VC: Reconsider 2 week pathway and fining hospitals

VS: Fund cancer research


Do you have any hobbies?

CB: Gigs, (Indie, DJ nights)

VC: Motorbikes

VS: Shopping


If you could press a button and instantly become an Oncology doctor would you?

CB: No, but I would become another nurse

VC: Yes

VS: No


What’s your funniest experience in Oncology?

CB: A patient who wheels in on a massive 4×4 mobility scooter with massive flags on it

VC: As above

VS: Trying to convince a patient they were hallucinating because we sneaked a dying patients dog onto the ward so they could have a last cuddle with its owner


Horror, chick flick, comedy or action film?

CB: Chick flick

VC: Action film

VS: Chick flick and comedy


Who is your favorite musical artist?

CB: Artic Monkeys

VC: Joan Armatrading

VS: Auicii


Can you shut off from work when you leave the ward?

CB: I try not to stay too late

VC: It;’s difficult, no. There is always a to do list

VS: After 14 years I’m still learning how to


Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

CB: Trial manager

VC: Still involved in prostate cancer

VS: Hopefully in a leadership or project management role


Pint, orange juice or champagne?

CB: Pint

VC: Pint but with lemonade in it

VS: Pint but preferably Gin or Vodka


Has the job made you cry in the last 3 months? If so why?

CB: Tearful but not actually cried

VC: Nearly for sad cases

VS: Seeing a 36 year old diagnosed with terminal cancer


Favorite food?

CB: Anything fried, a good burger

VC: Bacalhau (Portuguese for cod)

VS: Chocolate


Does this lose or retain more staff than an average department?

CB: No-one has left since ive joined

VC: Good retention, only one in last 3 years. They only leave for more money.

VS: About average


Does ‘patient zilla’ exist?

CB: Yes

VC: Yes

VS: Never heard of this


If you had to be one – fish, bird or fox?

CB: Bird

VC: Bird

VS: Fox


If you could design a prostate cancer leaflet what would the headline say? 

CB: ‘Don’t be embarrassed to talk about prostate cancer’ (lots of patients hide it from other people)

VC: ‘No one needs to die from prostate cancer’

VS: ‘Have I got news for you’


Glass half empty or half full?

CB: Half full

VC: Half full

VS: Always half full


If you could change one thing about your job what would it be?

CB: More time and space

VC: Money, time and paperwork

VS: Make it permanent


Have you ever sat in on an operation?

CB: Yes

VC: Yes

VS: Yes


Punch, persuasion or pi$$ off?

CB: Persuasion, until I don’t get my own way then….

VC: Persuasion

VS: Persuasion


Motorbike, car or public transport?

CB: Car

VC: Motorbike

VS: Car


What would you be doing if you were not a nurse?

CB: Teacher

VC: Something with computers

VS: Children’s book writer or seamstress


Would you rather live in the countryside, seaside or town?

CB: Ask me in 10 years

VC: Countryside

VS: Seaside


What was the defining factor that made you decide on nursing?

CB: Used to work in a lab which was boring but coming onto the ward and talking to people

VC: I was working in a nursing home and really enjoyed it

VS: My first shift as a health care assistant


Is there anything that you have ever regretted or wish you had said to a patient?

CB: Not off the top of my head

VC: Not spending enough time with patients

VS: No


If you could do any job for a day what would you do?

CB: Prime minister

VC: Pilot

VS: Elephant handler


Which superpower would you have?

CB: Flight

VC: Teleportation

VS: Teleportation


Have you ever wanted to punch a patient? If so why?

CB: No

VC: No, but very frustrated

VS: No, defend them but not punch them


Nando’s, McDonalds or a restaurant

CB: Nandos

VC: Nandos

VS: Restaurant


What’s the most important thing in your bag?

CB: Purse

VC: Wallet

VS: Phone


What would be a good title for your autobiography?

CB: ‘One woman on a mission to make a difference’

VC: ‘Did it my way’

VS: ‘Five minutes late with a dirty laugh’


If the worse week you have had in here was your first week would you have stayed?

CB: Yes

VC: Yes

VS: No


Are you religious?

CB: No

VC: Yes

VS: No


Has this job impacted on friends or family?

CB: They get the brunt of my moans

VC: Family, definitely

VS: Yes, I struggle to leave work on time


Have you seen a patient recovery that you cannot believe or explain?

CB: I’ve seen patients live a better quality of life than expected

VC: Yes, but not on this job

VS: No


What would your billboard to the world say?

CB: ‘Be nice, a kind word can make someone’s day’

VC: ‘Don’t spend your time being miserable, life is too short’

VS: ‘Always be grateful for something’








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