New Cancer Support Nurse at PDH

Meagan Nelson - PDH Cancer Support Nurse
Friday, 24 July 2015
Meagan Nelson’s new role as Portland District Health’s cancer support nurse brings together the various strands of her career.

Ms Nelson is a district nurse and has also been working in the PDH chemotherapy unit since its introduction last year. She has also worked in the pre admissions clinic.

She has also covered shifts in community palliative care over her six years with the health service.

Her new role is a combined position and involves district nursing from Monday to Wednesday and cancer support nursing on Thursdays and Fridays. She will also help in the busy chemotherapy unit when needed.

It all links in together with district nursing and caring for people in the community, she said.

Mrs Nelson was one of the original nurses to train for the chemotherapy unit. I've always been interested in the cancer side of nursing and it was helpful to have another skill, she said.

The former cancer link nurse position at Portland District Health was funded by Barwon Health but that program ended on June 30. However, PDH has decided to continue the position in a new format and has funded the ongoing role.

Ms Nelson said a major part of the job involves helping patients with cancer and their families and carer's to link into other services. I liaise with oncologists, GPs, other health professionals and the chemotherapy unit to make sure all services are linked, she said.

I'm able to provide information and answer any questions people may have about their illness, its treatment and their care.

A lot of times people just want to talk about their care with someone other than their family, Mrs Nelson said.

Another support network for people with cancer is the oncology rehabilitation program at Active Health Portland, which includes a one-hour exercise session and an education session on a different topic every week.

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