Tell us a bit about you and your role?
My name is Alison Paterson and I am currently a Haematology Support Nurse at East and North Herts NHS Trust. My journey in haematology nursing started when I was a student at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital and continued at the Hammersmith Hospital on Dacie the BMT ward. I have also previously worked in the critical care unit at UCLH. Now my role involves working with the Haematology CNS to support patients undergoing investigations, diagnosis, and treatment of all blood cancers. We also support patients who are palliative and those who have finished treatment. We act as the key worker for the majority of these patients, ensuring the pathway is as quick and efficient as we can make it. The day to day job is varied ranging from giving advice about chemotherapy side effects, managing a palliative patient on the ward to arranging an OPA for a patient. We also liaise with CNS’s from our tertiary referral centres so patients can have blood tests and procedures locally if possible.
Do you have a favourite aspect of the role?
I feel like I make a difference to patients day to day and that is what I enjoy.
How does your work impact on patients?
Most of my day to day work is patient facing, focused on solving problems and giving support in a crisis situation. It is important patients have confidence in the CNS team so that they will ring if there are issues.
How has engaging with us impacted on your work?
I like the information Bloodwise produce and being more connected via Facebook means you feel more part of a community of nurses. Being in a team of two means there are not many people to bounce ideas off or get inspiration from. The online community connects us so we can share good practice/stories, especially at a time when it is more difficult to get the study time and funding to come to study days/networking events.
Can you tell us about something you’re working on at the moment?
I am currently trying to develop an end of life pathway for myeloma patients so we identify patients on last line treatment early and they can have time to decide what their priorities are prior to a crisis point.
Finally, is there something you would like to see Bloodwise do in the future (for nurses or for patients)?
I would love to see a series of booklets written for those in later life. The majority of patients with a blood cancer are diagnosed late in life and it would be great to have a series of booklets produced that are specifically aimed at them especially the older AML patient, addressing the issues that matter most to them.
Thank you, Alison, for sharing your experiences as a haematology support nurse.
If you have a story to share or would like to tell us how you make an impact on patients, please get in touch on firstname.lastname@example.org!