Total Community Care - Specialists in spinal & neurological care

Providing bespoke care nationwide for clients with spinal injuries and neurological conditions

02 Dec

Ironing out the cancer nursing challenges during Covid-19 webinar

Yesterday (December 1st) I attended a webinar about the cancer nursing challenges during Covid -19. It was very informative.  It was interesting to hear about staff too scared to come to work, even experienced staff, due to the Covid-19. And to think, the Royal Marsden hospital did not have enough PPE supplies.  The ever-changing rules of the corona roller coaster can cause stress, and this can impact your health, energy, and immune system.

How have nurses responded to the Covid?  The emotional connection from seeing your patients face and them seeing their nurses face is now gone due to everyone wearing masks, so now patients and nurses must rely on body language and eyes to get that emotional connection.

Another issue that nurses have to work on is that when a patient comes in with a cough, is it Covid-19 or could it be something else? When do they send the patient out to investigate if it could be lung cancer?  Patients feel they are not getting the care they need, and will it contribute to the shortening of their lives? Care for cancer patients has not stopped, it has slowed down.  Those who are already in a trial are continuing their trials, but those who were about to start their trials have experienced some delays. How do the nurses reassure these individuals? These are the challenges that nurses face.

They also talked about Genomics which is the study of our genes (DNA) and their interaction with our health.  It can link those with the BRAC 1 and BRAC 2 genes.  Everyone has the BRCA1 and BRCA 2 genes, it is just that some people have an inherited mutation in one or both of these genes that increase the risk of breast cancer.  These mutations can be passed from parent to children and can increase the risk for cancer in both men and women.

BRCA1 mutations are associated with an increased risk of triple-negative breast cancer, which is very difficult to treat.  BRAC2 mutations are associated with increased risk of breast, ovarian, pancreatic, gallbladder, bile duct, and melanoma cancers.  For other types of cancer, they have now discovered different biomarkers, and these biomarkers can be used to determine the best course of treatment.

Overall the webinar reflected that the challenges we face taking care of our patients, clients or service user are real and we have to do the best we can to get across the messages we need to from behind the mask and hope that they can relate.

Sophia Wilson, Clinical Nurse