Cancer nurse coordinator community of practice – Monash Health
A program to provide constructive peer-to-peer support and professional development for cancer nurse coordinators has been developed to assess the professional development needs of these coordinators at Monash Health.
The program included research related to the nurses’ job satisfaction, wellness and stress response.
Additionally, a schedule of six Community of Practice events were held, focusing on adolescent and young adult fertility preservation, cancer survivorship, cultural safety for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, voluntary assisted dying, bereavement and mindfulness.
Metastatic breast care nurse training and mentoring project
The Metastatic Breast Care Nurse Training and Mentoring Project aims to provide online training and clinical placements at Monash Health for nurses to develop the skill set to provide care for patients with metastatic breast cancer.
The project partners are SMICS, Monash Health, Monash University and the McGrath Foundation.
Up to 30 nurses will be upskilled over a four-year period, with the first clinical placement for Monash Health nurses expected to be delivered in November/December 2020. Nurses external to Monash Health will begin in February 2021 provided COVID-19 restrictions allow.
A contingency plan for online clinical placements is under consideration.
Monash Health head and neck general practitioner education series
A series of three general Practitioner (GP) education workshops were developed and delivered across southern Melbourne with the Head and Neck Cancer Team at Monash Health. The workshops introduced GPs and practice nurses to the optimal care pathway for head and neck cancer. They also provided GPs with the information they need to recognise the early diagnostic signs and symptoms of head and neck cancer and guidelines for rapid patient referral into the Monash Health Head and Neck Cancer Service.
Presentations provided an overview of head and neck cancer surgery (which can include complex multimodal surgery carried out by teams of surgeons comprising ENT, plastics, faciomaxillary and neurosurgeons), complexities of chemotherapy and radiotherapy provision and how to manage associated side effects. The important role of head and neck cancer nurse consultants and speech pathologists in providing care coordination, rehabilitation and supportive care provision was also outlined.
Some of the key messages for GPs were the importance of:
early diagnosis and referral
recognising the increased incidence of head and neck cancer in younger people
HPV vaccination for young people
recognising and managing the side effects of treatment.