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
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)
If you could press a button and instantly become an Oncology doctor would you?
CB: No, but I would become another nurse
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
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?
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
CB: Anything fried, a good burger
VC: Bacalhau (Portuguese for cod)
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?
VS: Never heard of this
If you had to be one – fish, bird or 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?
Punch, persuasion or pi$$ off?
CB: Persuasion, until I don’t get my own way then….
Motorbike, car or public transport?
What would you be doing if you were not a nurse?
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
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
If you could do any job for a day what would you do?
CB: Prime minister
VS: Elephant handler
Which superpower would you have?
Have you ever wanted to punch a patient? If so why?
VC: No, but very frustrated
VS: No, defend them but not punch them
Nando’s, McDonalds or a restaurant
What’s the most important thing in your bag?
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?
Are you religious?
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
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’