SW Cancer Services

Other Health Professionals

Cancer Nurse Coordinator – The primary role of the rural cancer nurse coordinators is to improve the coordination of care between local and metropolitan services to ensure that patients have supported access to the treatment options. They are the link in each region for the coordination of all services and are establishing strong links between all health professionals.

The Rural Cancer Nurse Coordinator role is a joint appointment between the WA Cancer and Palliative Care Network (WACPCN) and the WA Country Health Service (WACHS). Working as an established credible team of senior professional nurses they are recognised as having a broad range of expertise within their regional areas for issues relating to cancer care.  Find a Cancer Nurse Coordinator.

Breast Care Nurse – A health care professional specially trained to manage the care of breast cancer patients throughout the course of their treatment. They are the principal liaison between the patient and the specialists coordinating their treatment – whether it be surgery, radiotherapy or chemotherapy. Breast care nurses also provide an advocacy role helping to clarify technical or complicated information the patient may not understand as well as vital emotional support to the patient and their family and friends.

At the Health Campus our Breast Care Nurse is subsidised by the McGrath Foundation, our McGrath Breast Care Nurse is a registered nurse with specialist training and qualifications in breast care. McGrath Breast Care Nurses coordinate care for people with breast cancer, and provide information, support and referral services.

Support from a McGrath Breast Care Nurse can greatly minimise the stress and trauma of your breast cancer experience. They are able to offer: – your family and carers help and understanding any technical or complex information, vital emotional support during this very difficult time, helping to make the most appropriate treatment and management decisions easier for you. Find a Breast Care Nurse.

Support Groups – Provide a setting in which cancer patients can talk about living with cancer with others who may be having similar experiences. Much of the sociological construction of these groups is similar to other kinds of other types of support groups.

Although the experience of people diagnosed with cancer varies greatly from one person to another, they all need a good support system in order to cope throughout the different stages of the process. Different support systems have thus been developed including community support groups, online cancer support groups, networks, forums, and charitable organisations. Community support groups are usually led by psychologists, social workers, and medical professionals and can take place in churches, hospitals, or community centre’s. Online support groups and forums are a good option for those patients who find it difficult to leave their home during treatment. People participating in such forums have the possibility to maintain their anonymity. Support systems range from those that address patients suffering from specific types of cancer to those that support patients suffering from any kind of cancer.

A support group can also be explained as a group of people (sometimes led by a Therapist) who provide each other with moral support, information and advice on problems relating to some shared characteristic or experience. Find a Support Group.

Pharmacist – a healthcare professional who prepares and dispenses medications upon a written order eg a prescription, from a licensed practitioner such as a doctor, dentist, or nurse practitioner. Pharmacists also provide information about medication to their clients including the possible side-effects of medications, interactions with other medications and general advice on when to take medication and how to store and dispose of it.

Physiotherapist – a healthcare professional who can assess, diagnose and treat a wide range of physical problems including musculo-skeletal injuries, neurological injuries and respiratory diseases. They provide post-operative rehabilitation services and specialised treatment in a clinic as well as develop plans for patients to follow at home. Physiotherapists also help people avoid injuries and maintain a fit, healthy body by following a healthy lifestyle. A physiotherapist treats patients in hospitals with illness or after surgery, and provides outpatient care to improve strength and mobility, reduce pain and some may provide specialist care for lymphoedema.

Dietitian – a healthcare professional who applies the science of nutrition to the treatment of people; both those who are well and seeking healthy nutritional advice and those who require nutrition as therapy when unwell or living with chronic disease that requires a special diet. You may want to read further information on dietitians and nutrition for people living with cancer here. Find a Dietitian.

Occupational Therapist – a healthcare professional whose goal is to enable people to participate in the activities of everyday life. Occupational Therapists work with individuals who have conditions that are mentally, physically, developmentally, socially or emotionally disabling. OT’s believe that participation can be supported or restricted by physical, social, attitudinal and legislative environments. Therefore, their practice may be directed to changing aspects of the environment to enhance participation.

Speech Pathologist – a healthcare professional who works with people who are unable to communicate effectively or who have difficulty with feeding and swallowing. Speech pathologists work with a variety of patients including children who fail to develop normal communication, or people who acquire communication or feeding difficulties as a result of disease injury or stroke. Patients who have received treatment for cancer in the mouth, tongue, larynx and throat may receive treatment from a Speech Pathologist.

Lymphoedema Therapist – a healthcare professional who works with people who have lymphoedema which can occur as a result of lymph nodes being removed during surgery. The lymphoedema therapist treats the symptoms of lymphoedema using specific massage techniques and sometimes bandaging and educates patients in relation to the personal care of their condition. Lymphoedema Therapists usually have a background in Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Nursing or Massage Therapy. Find a Lymphoedema Therapist.

Clinical Trials Research Nurse/Data Manager – a health care professional who is familiar with the range of clinical trials that are active and recruiting patients. The clinical trials team work with the specialist doctors, the patients and the Sponsor (the body who is managing the Trial). They ensure that the Trials protocols are followed and that ethical guidelines are met. They have a patient care role which may involve collecting health information and/or delivering treatment, as well as an administrative role such as maintaining accurate health  records.

Pastoral Care Practitioner- Pastoral practitioners are an integral part of the health care team. They complement and contribute to the overall holistic care provided to patients and their families. Pastoral practitioners are professionally trained to relate to patients and their families through a relationship which recognizes the physical, psychosocial, spiritual and emotional needs. This can be most important when faced with significant life events such as illness, suffering, disability, birth and death. Find a Pastoral Care Practitioner.

Social Worker –Social Workers are professionals who assist patients, their carers and families in a wide range of areas which relate to overcoming barriers and inequities. They facilitate access to counselling and support services, provide advocacy services and may attend case conferences and mediation as required. They can also assist people resolve financial and legal concerns and assist them access services in these areas. They assist in planning for discharge home and residential care planning and they also assist people during periods of adjustment and grief.