Meet a Cancer Nurse Practitioner

Posted on Fri, 22/11/2019

Meet Emma Robinson, Oesophago-Gastric & Hepatobiliary Oncology Nurse Practitioner here at Gateshead Health, she explains how her role supports patients and raising awareness for Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month.

During my nursing career, I have had several roles always with an interest in liver disease and gastroenterology. In March 2019 I started the Oesophago-Gastric & Hepatobiliary Oncology Nurse Practitioner role here at the QE and love my job the people that I meet and being part of the QE family!

In my role as Oesophago-Gastric & Hepatobiliary Nurse Practitioner I care for any patients that come to the QE with oesophageal, stomach, liver, and pancreas or gall bladder cancers. One day this might be meeting patients following diagnostic tests such as endoscopies or scans to explain results or it being bleeped to wards to review a patient with complex symptoms. Much of the treatment for these cancers is done at the Freeman or the RVI in Newcastle so a big part of my job is coordinating patients care between the hospitals and ensuring tests and follow ups that need to be done locally are sorted.

The part of my role I enjoy the most is developing relationships with patients and their families at what is often the most difficult time in their life and supporting them through it. Sometimes this may be visiting them on the wards and offering advice to the ward team about managing symptoms and for others it is about sorting out benefits and community support to remove some of the other stresses a cancer diagnosis puts on a patient and their family.

My job is a Macmillan adopted post which means I can get extra support as a professional from Macmillan to support cancer patients to the best of my ability and I am really proud to be able to work alongside and as a representative for this amazing charity. Caring for cancer patients is not just one person’s job and I am so fortunate to have an amazing multi-disciplinary team (MDT) to work with including Doctors from a range of specialities, dieticians, nurses and non-clinical staff in the Swan Centre.

Although I love my job and the people I am fortunate enough to meet it can be incredibly difficult as OG-HPB cancers are often diagnosed late as they have such vague symptoms if any until it is too late. Moving forward it would be great to do more to raise awareness and educate patients and staff about these cancers to help the fight for earlier diagnosis.

Being a Nurse Practitioner has allowed me develop professionally as a Nurse and I have undertaken extended qualifications to examine patients and prescribe medications which; these skill are facilitating me to setup of a rapid access jaundice service to aid quicker diagnosis of HPB cancers.  

November is Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month, more information can be found at: https://www.pancreaticcancer.org.uk/get-involved/pancreatic-cancer-awareness-month/

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