INSPIRED TO CARE MCGRATH NURSE HELPS FIGHT CANCER
SPENDING her time making other people’s lives better has had the same impact on Vicki Bell’s life.
As a breast care nurse for the McGrath Foundation, she is constantly inspired by the people she meets.
“They have adversary and they just face it and get on with it,” Ms Bell said.
“Having a job like this opens your eyes up to what’s really important in life and it makes you appreciate and be grateful for everything that you do have.”
Ms Bell visits patients at Campbelltown, Camden and Bowral Hospitals and said she works with more than 300 patients a year.
“We see women at any stage of diagnosis. Our service is free so they can ring us and we can assist them with support, whether that be emotionally, psychologically, physically – whatever they need,” she said.
This can include providing information on treatment options, palliative care and support for emotional issues from body image to family relationships.
“A lot of the time we see people at their worst, but by supporting them we watch them become empowered,” Ms Bell said.
“You need to be perceptive and pick up on the cues – verbal and non verbal – and the dynamics of a family.”
With more than 30 years’ nursing experience, Ms Bell said she enjoyed the stable hours she worked.
“Our hours are 8.30am to 4.30pm, Monday to Friday and we have a mobile phone that patients can contact us on,” she said.
“You have to be a registered nurse, then they like you to have additional training in breast care nursing.”
Ms Bell said it was wonderful to see advancements in treatment that have led to a higher survival rate.
“It’s exciting with new research, new drugs, new treatments and hopefully better outcomes, which we are seeing now,” she said.
McGrath Foundation nurse Vicki Bell at Campbelltown Public Hospital.