You can get the support of a contact nurse if you are being investigated or treated for cancer. This is to make you feel safe in your care. The contact nurse is responsible for making a care plan together with you. Relatives can also be supported by the contact nurse.
Why should I have a contact nurse?
When you are being investigated or treated for cancer, it often feels safer if you understand and can overlook what is happening. Then you can also be involved and influence things that are important to you.
The contact nurse helps with this in different ways. Here are some of his duties:
- Ensure that the different parts of your cancer care are coordinated.
- Tell you about the different events in your care and when they should happen.
- Answer questions and give advice and support.
- Make sure you get involved and plan your care.
- Help you reach other healthcare professionals if you need it.
- Answer questions and provide advice and support to relatives.
The contact nurse has a duty of confidentiality just like any other healthcare professional. They can provide support and advice to your loved ones without telling you things you do not want to pass on.
The contact nurse has specialist knowledge in cancer care.
The contact nurse maybe your regular care contact, but it can also be another person who is.
When do I have a contact nurse?
It varies when you meet a contact nurse for the first time. It may be when the investigation begins to find out if you have cancer or when the doctor tells you that you have cancer. You may also have a contact nurse during the time the treatment is being followed up.
Tell the reception where you received the cancer diagnosis or where you are being treated, unless you are offered a contract nurse.
You can have several contact nurses
It is common with different types of cancer care and therefore you may sometimes need to change contact nurses. Maybe you should have surgery first. Then your contact nurse is at the surgeon’s clinic. After surgery, you may need radiotherapy or chemotherapy. Then you switch to the contact nurse who is there.
Your former contact nurse will ensure that the new healthcare staff receives the information they need and what you want them to have.
You have the right to always know who is responsible for you
You will receive the name and telephone number of the new contact nurse before handing over. Your current contact nurse will continue to be responsible for you until you and the new contact nurse have met or called you.
You may join and write the care plan
The contact nurse arranges so that you, the doctor and other health care personnel together write “My care plan”. That plan is your document and should answer questions that are important to you. Here are suggestions on such issues:
- What is the purpose of the care I receive?
- What is the next event in healthcare and when should it happen?
- What can I do to feel better?
- How do I get the rehabilitation I need?
- Where can I call if I suddenly feel worse or feel uneasy?
“My health plan” is one or more papers that you bring with you during your visits to health care. In some places, you can choose if you would rather have the plan digitally.
Tell your health care provider to update the plan or change yourself if your care or needs change in any way that matters to you.
“My Care Plan” is not the same as the medical record, but it should say in the journal that “My Care Plan” exists.
If you are too ill to attend and plan your care, the healthcare staff will make a care plan based on what they think will be best for you.