What exactly is a breast care nurse?
A breast care nurse is a nurse who has been provided with specialised training to provide care for people who either have or suspect that they may have breast cancer. Typically, this training involves oncology and counselling training.
Their role is to provide the support that is informative, practical and empathetic. They are a key member of a multidisciplinary treatment team for breast cancer patients.
What does a breast care nurse do?
A breast care nurse will often be your key point of contact with a clinic where you are receiving treatment for breast cancer, and will act as an advocate, facilitator, educator and counsellor. They will support you in navigating through your breast cancer treatment journey.
Here are just some of the many important tasks a breast care nurse will perform to support you:
– Translate complicated medical information into clear, easy-to-understand terms
– Assisting you in preparing for your first appointment and preparing any questions or documentation you have
– Answering any questions you have about your treatment or helping you to find answers
– Directing you towards helpful resources
– Coordinating your care and records
– Acting as an intermediary between you and your healthcare team
– Explaining your treatment plan
– To contribute to the provision of high quality medical care and patient-centric care
– Explain what you can expect throughout the treatment
– Assist with wound care and recovery after surgery
– Provide emotional support and reassurance
– Provide you with information about breast reconstruction and cosmetic outcomes
Why have a breast care nurse?
Having a single point of contact who can provide you with advice, reassurance and answers when you need them the most can be incredibly important throughout your treatment. The treatment for breast care nurses can be confusing and complicated. A breast care nurse can advocate for your needs within the healthcare team, and can work closely with you to ensure that you understand and can participate in your treatment.
Breast care nurses typically have a wide-ranging knowledge of additional support services and sources of reliable information for patients, and they can refer you to resources such as books, free guides, counselling, legal aid, allied health professionals, and postoperative resources to improve the recovery experience.