Cancer Council SA is providing a dedicated cancer nurse for people living with cancer and their family and friends at Flinders Medical Centre. Our Outreach Nurse, Polly provides face-to-face support and information in the Flinders Cancer Wellness Centre three days a week.
Within the Flinders Cancer Wellness Centre, Cancer Council SA’s Cancer Information Centre, provides access to free information and resources to help anyone impacted by cancer, helping them to better understand their diagnosis and the range of support services available.
Cancer can be overwhelming but finding the right information and support can often make a world of difference. As an experienced oncology nurse, Polly is available to listen when people want to share their experiences, or if they are having a challenging day.
Polly is also able to connect people living with cancer and their families at Flinders Medical Centre with information, resources, services and support groups.
“I’m not injecting people or providing any physical treatments; these patients are enduring enough of that. I’m someone outside of that space. We can provide a lot of support for people, individuals as well as families, and that’s why we’re here,” Polly said.
“People can come and relax and talk, or not. It’s about having that face-to-face connection. We get to connect with people who otherwise might not contact Cancer Council SA or connect with programs and services.”
Polly uses her clinical expertise to refer people to the services they need, but she also supports people to connect with holistic programs and services in addition to conventional medicine, to help people cope better with the symptoms of cancer.
“I describe myself as a clinician through and through, but I’m also well versed in the complementary services that can be a really important part of anyone’s cancer experience,” Polly said.
“If you can get benefit and comfort from a massage, we can help link people with these services in the community. If people benefit from listening to a harp and it gives them some solace, that’s perfect too. It’s about providing supports but making them meaningful to whoever wants to engage with you.”
About half of the people Polly connects with are partners, family members or friends of someone living with cancer—often waiting in the Cancer Wellness Centre while their loved ones attend the breast clinic, have chemotherapy or attend an appointment.
Polly is also on hand to visit wards and patient areas across Flinders Medical Centre and Flinders Private Hospital, to chat with anyone seeking cancer information and support in addition to what is offered in hospital.
Polly is available for appointments, or a casual chat over a cup of tea or coffee in the Flinders Cancer Wellness Centre, Tuesday to Thursday, every week. For more information about Cancer Council SA’s Outreach Nurse Service, call Cancer Council 13 11 20.