Last Thursday evening we were lucky enough to meet someone new - A Prostate Cancer Specialist Nurse. A MacMillan Nurse with VERY specialist training and skills, who works hand in glove with the three main prostate Oncologists at our hospital now. As far as he knows - he IS the only one in the whole country - he actually runs some of the clinics and gets much more involved at a personal level with all new patients, more holistically, than any of the consultants can possibly do with the constraints placed on them.
He did a presentation and well, WOW. Very detailed info presented at the right level for the patients (and their wives!) What a lovely bloke - I said to him It's like a breath of fresh air listening to you speak - and explained how much I personally value specialist nursing skills - and if I'm any judge of character - he's really GOT it. Very knowledgeable chap - and he's working his socks off - not only with his patients and consultants, but with the Urology consultants and trying to get the Urology clinic nurses more knowledgeable and helpful to their prostate cancer patients - and also spreading the word to other hospitals.
All the new patients now get access to him, his phone number and email address - and he also sees the 'watchful waiting' ones and the ones like Pete - following up after radiotherapy or like in Pauline's John's case - all the ongoing fallout - and can arrange blood tests and ensure the results get seen by consultants when they need to, and that the results are conveyed properly to the patient and they know upfront what happens next ...... recurrences, chemo - you name it, he can and does get involved, and does the 'hand holding'. The only thing he can't do right now is prescribing, but that's in the pipeline too! So if you happen to get in touch because say the plumbing's a bit awry - he can arrange all the necessary tests pdq and you're not hanging around forever waiting on someone without a name to bother to do something.