Q&A With Funded Post Nicola Thompson

5th Sep 2016

The Beatson is a special place thanks to the wonderful, dedicated people who work there every day. Here, we chat to Advanced Clinical Nurse Specialist,  Nicola Thompson, about what it's like to be part of Team Beatson.

Q. How long have you been working at  The Beatson?

I’ve worked in this amazing place for 19 years in a variety of nursing posts.

Q.What made you want to specialise in renal and testicular cancer?

I saw it as a challenge and an exciting opportunity to work with two fantastic  patient groups and clinical teams. Up  until that point, patients with testicular,  kidney and ovarian germ cell cancer  hadn’t had the support of an Advanced  Clinical Nurse Specialist.

Q. How would you describe what you do?

I support patients at three germ  cell  clinics and two renal clinics every week. I also visit the in-patient ward, attend  various team meetings, and provide  confidential advice to patients and their families. Often, I’ll take calls and answer email enquiries from other  healthcare professionals such as GPs, District Nurses and Community Nurse  Specialists.

Q. What do you enjoy most about your job?

The best part of my job is the one-to one  contact with people. I get to know  patients and their families really well  throughout their cancer journey, and  it’s wonderful to make such a difference to their lives. Helping someone gain the knowledge and self-confidence  to manage their own treatment is extremely fulfilling. Every patient is an  individual, and I try to tailor support  and information to their unique needs, whatever they may be.

Q. How does Beatson Cancer Charity’s  Wellbeing Centre add to the care that  you provide?

It makes a huge difference to everyone  who comes to the hospital for treatment, and I encourage all of my patients to  visit if they can. They get so much out  of the centre, whether it’s a welcoming  smile, meeting other patients, a  complimentary therapy treatment,  or  just a friendly cup of tea. The Wellbeing  Centre even comes to patients who  cannot make the journey themselves, by having a therapist who attends the in-patient ward. Plus there’s a  complimentary tea trolley service that  volunteers bring round to patients  and families attending outpatient  clinics. One of my patients calls it a ‘hug  in a mug’!

Q. What makes The Beatson special in  your  view?

It’s the patients and families that make  The Beatson a fantastic place to work. Patients are going through the most  challenging, difficult and emotional  experience of their lives, yet many do so  with humour and candour. I also love the fact that every day is a school day at The  Beatson, as you learn something new all  the time. All of the staff work extremely  hard, and The Beatson also has a huge  commitment to research and education in developing cancer treatments of the  future.

Q. What would you say to someone to  encourage them to support Beatson  Cancer Charity with a donation?

Without the work of the charity, and the  generosity of its many supporters, there simply wouldn’t be a Wellbeing Centre. There would be no complimentary  therapies, no Specialist Health and  Work Service, no funded specialist posts, no support for education and research.  Everything that Beatson Cancer Charity  does, has a real impact on past, present  and future patients and their families.

Without Nicola many of the patients who rely on her knowledge, expertise and support would find what they are going through even harder. You can ensure many more patients can see a Clinical Nurse Specialist like Nicola in years to come  by making a quick and easy donation or by finding out how can get involved here.