“I am always looking at ways to improve what we do.”

After finishing her nursing training about 10 years ago, Courtney’s interest in venepuncture and cannulation led her to an interview in the haematology ward where she thought her role would be “to take bloods and give blood”. 

Now, as well as being responsible for the ongoing oncology and haematology training and education of around 10 nurses, Courtney’s role allows her to make improvements to services, nursing procedures, and guidelines. “This is very rewarding to me and I am always looking at ways to improve what we do.” she says. 

"Haematology / Oncology can be a difficult place to work because we are faced with death daily from all walks of life, both young and old. I am glad to say that through research and improvements in cancer care, I‘ve noticed people living longer and living better. This is exciting.” 

Courtney believes “The people who work in this service generally have a passion for it and love learning and I love seeing nurses, doctors allied health working together solving problems."

"I would love to see the world focus on prevention of cancer now. We know the risk factors so we need to get proactive, get together and go to government(s) to ask them to focus on this area. Prevention is better than cure!!”

When asked about challenges in cancer nursing, Courtney focused on two.

“Obviously, the emotional toll when you are seeing people go through this journey. I have learnt over the years that you cannot save everyone and I try not to invest so much personally into their lives because if I do, it can be very hard when they pass away.

Another challenge is getting my head around the chemotherapy and what it does to people. We now have well documented studies of what it does to health workers when exposed, so what it does to patients can be hard to deal with when you see it.”