The latest instalment of the Meet our NUMs series is Theresa from our day cancer care unit in Kookaburra. Theresa tells us what she loves most about her role, and the multiple countries she has worked in!
What makes your ward and the patients you care for different from other wards?
The Day Cancer Care unit provides specialised nursing care to children and adolescents with a wide range of cancers and immunology disorders. We see our patients often and over a long period of time, so they become a part of the Children’s Cancer Centre family. Providing care on an outpatient basis allows the children and family to remain together at home for as much as possible.
Tell us about your RCH journey. When you joined, the roles you’ve held here.
I began working in the CCC on the Kookaburra unit 11 years ago as a registered nurse on the ward. I then took a position in the Day Cancer unit for a few years. When the opportunity arose to work a Clinical Nurse Facilitator I was a successful applicant and worked in that role for several years. Longing for direct care of the patients, I returned to the Day Cancer Centre unit and have now been manager since moving to the new hospital. I still work clinically two days a week, which keeps me in contact with direct patient care.
Talk us through what a typical day looks like.
My day usually begins with a hello to all the staff and checking in to see what may be our challenges for the day. I attend the huddle (a morning meeting of senior hospital staff) to find out what’s going on with the rest of the hospital. If I am clinical I will have an assignment for the day. If I am administration, I will find lots of emails to catch up on, meetings, and planning for the unit.
What is the most rewarding thing about your current role?
I love being a part of a multidisciplinary team and working alongside my team to provide great care.
What is your favourite RCH memory or achievement?
The day cancer team received an award for zero harm. This was achieved by our response to creating processes and procedures that were perceived to be high risk in delivering patient care.
In five words, tell us what you love you about your work?
Working with a great team.
If you could only take three things with you to a desert island, what would they be?
My family, sunscreen and a hat.
If you could have dinner with anyone in history, who would it be and why?
The Dalai Lama to teach me how to bring more Zen to my life and impart his wisdom.
Can you tell us something about yourself that your staff might be surprised to learn?
Australia is the fifth country I have worked in nursing oncology patients.