Delivering the best outcomes

This month, as part of Calvary Mater Newcastle’s celebration of the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife, we meet Catherine Johnson, Cancer Care Coordinator.

What is your position and what ward/area do you work in? Four days per week I am the Gastrointestinal Cancer Care Coordinator and one day per week I work in Medical Oncology Research as an Ethics and Governance Coordinator.

Explain what a Cancer Care Coordinator is and your role? Cancer Care Coordinator’s work with people who have been diagnosed with cancer and their treating teams to ensure they receive care in a logical, connected and timely way so that their needs are met. We also work to improve care of, and outcomes for, people with cancer by contributing to service improvement activities to make care accessible and equitable for all.

What led you toward nursing as a career? As a teenager I volunteered as a ‘candy striper’ at my local hospital and this experience shaped my desire to work in healthcare and pursue a career in nursing.

What does a ‘normal’ work day look like? Every day is different, there is no such thing as a ‘normal day’ other than get to work on time and try and get as much done as possible before you go home to make sure patients receive the care they need, when they need it.

What do you love most about your job? I love the diversity of my position and working with the supportive and progressive teams in care coordination and research who aim to deliver the best outcomes in care. I have also loved the diverse opportunities nursing has given me to meet new people and make a difference.

What words of wisdom would you bestow on younger nurses? Nurses are the largest health profession worldwide, numbering over 20 million, and in this International Year of the Nurse we should remember our role and our contribution to global health and the health of our patients is unique. We should always strive to improve the health of all patients and use our influence to create better health care environments.

Work hard, be kind and take every opportunity that comes your way, you never know where it will take you.

What does the rest of 2020 bring? After 25 years at Calvary Mater Newcastle I have taken a secondment to the Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI) as the Clinical Trials Network Officer, working with the HMRI Clinical Trials Unit (CTU).

The primary focus of my new role is to develop coordinated systems for the setup and conduct of the activities of clinical trials across all the partners of NSW Regional Health Partners (NSWRHP). Calvary Mater Newcastle is a partner of the NSWRHP so I am sure I will continue to see many of you in my capacity as the Clinical Trials Network Officer.