This three-day course has been running for three years, and continues to be popular in Trusts and community settings for improving practice. The aim of the course is to teach the principles of cancer and its treatments to staff who care for patients diagnosed or treated in general settings. Topics include oncological emergencies; communication skills; symptom management; side effects of treatments.
The course is meeting a need in practice settings, and is aimed at qualified staff. There is also as one-day version for health care assistants and other staff working in Bands 1–4 roles (such as medical secretaries, ward clerks and porters).
The journey of the cancer patient is now a lot clearer and I have the confidence to speak to patients about their illness without fear.
We were asked by a Community Services Trust who were having difficulties retaining newly appointed community nurses to develop and run a short course to support nurses as they adjust to working in an autonomous role in people’s homes. The course was developed with senior clinical nurses and managers, who participated in the teaching, with The Royal Marsden School staff facilitating sessions such as communication, negotiation and person-centred care skills.
Three courses have now been completed; all have been highly evaluated by the nurses and management. Retention rates have improved significantly. Plans are underway to develop the course further to become a ‘transition programme’ for nurses moving out of the acute setting into the community.
The course was so helpful. I learned such a lot. Every session was relevant to practice and made me think.