The McGrath Foundation raises money to place McGrath Breast Care Nurses in communities across Australia, as well as increase breast awareness in young people.
IGA Nurse Stories
New South Wales – Karen Hennings
The importance of my relationship with my patients is paramount. I need to develop a rapport with them – I am their advocate in negotiating a path through the sometimes very complicated health care system. A breast cancer diagnosis is never easy, but a McGrath Breast Care Nurse can smooth the way.
Margaret was diagnosed earlier this year. She was very frightened as she knew there was cancer in her lymph nodes as well as her breast. At our first meeting in her home, we were able to have a long chat about her concerns. I answered her questions, provided some written information and helped her prepare for upcoming surgery. Since then, we have been in regular contact, I’ve attended specialist appointments with her, put her in touch with other services in our community (wig library, support group, lymphoedema therapist) and been a sounding board for any concerns or questions she has.
This is Marg at her chemo appointment last week, a very different lady to the fearful and teary lady I met in February. The relationship Marg and I have developed has benefited us both greatly. With each new patient I meet, I am challenged to find out how I can tailor my services to meet the needs of the patient and their family. Marg has benefitted from knowing she has someone to call, who will answer any questions she has and connect her with the people in her community who can best meet her needs.
Queensland – Cathy Apelt
About having the support of a McGrath Breast Care Nurse, Judy says, ‘Cathy really made sure I didn’t fall through the cracks of the system. Sometimes you can get a bit overwhelmed with all the information thrown at you. The surgeon has their job, the chemo doctor has their job, but a McGrath Breast Care Nurse is someone who is really focused on you, and can help you navigate your way through the system.’
Tasmania – Terri Lee Cooper
Each day I get to do something meaningful and important which can help to reduce the fears and concerns of my patients. The work I do makes such a difference to the women and men diagnosed with breast cancer in our community. I help coordinate care delivery and provide the information, education and support to help them make important decisions about their treatment at a time when they are feeling fragile and vulnerable. To me, this is not just a job. I get great satisfaction knowing that I can make a difference in someone’s life, and hopefully make their experience a little less scary.
Victoria – Kerry Patford (IGA Nurse)
A really big part of my role is helping families keep home life as normal as possible during a time of crisis. Being able to deliver care in the patient’s home is very important is this respect. It means that they don’t have to find child care or travel to another medical appointment.
We can deliver care and support to them, in their own surrounds. It’s such a privilege to be let into a family like this, and know that you are making a difference during a really stressful time.