Breast Cancer Care WA employs five specialist breast care nurses, who are experienced registered nurses who have undertaken specialist university level education and training and are professionally accredited.
They are able to provide support over the phone or by email, as well as home and hospital visits within the metropolitan area.
They play a vital role in providing emotional support and information at various phases across the continuum of care including diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation, follow-up and palliative care.
They are available to help women interpret their results and make informed decisions about their care based on knowledge. Often women have not fully understood the implications of the proposed treatments so our breast care nurses can explain what the treatment involves and what lifestyle modifications may be necessary to enable them to get through with the least disruption to their lives. They are also able to arrange practical assistance to support clients throughout their treatment.
If required, our breast care nurses can attend appointments with clients in an advocacy role as some find the process of medical appointments daunting and leave without getting answers to their questions.
They also liaise with external agencies on behalf of women who have no family support to help them. By working closely with other agencies in the health sector we are able to assist patients with care coordination to ensure good outcomes.
To speak to a breast care nurse for information, guidance, or a supportive ear please call 9324 3703 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
McGrath Breast Care Nurse
Starting her career as a surgical nurse in the UK, Moira gained many years’ experience caring for women undergoing breast surgery on a female general surgical ward and a dedicated breast care ward.
Migrating to Perth in 2008 with her family, Moira spent some time working in critical care areas before she had the opportunity to return to breast care nursing.
Moira has developed a keen interest in the positive effect social support can have on stress, adaptation and coping throughout her twenty year nursing career and gained more valuable experience at the Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital Breast Clinic prior to joining Breast Cancer Care WA in early 2013.
Moira is also working towards a Post Graduate Certificate in Cancer Nursing.
"I feel truly honoured to be working amongst such an experienced and dedicated team who strive on a daily basis to meet the organisations goal of providing the best individualised support to clients and their families. Seeing the difference our support can make to the lives of the inspiring people we meet every day is so rewarding"
Moira works Monday to Thursday.
McCusker Breast Care Nurse
Maria started her career in the UK in acute medicine and oncology and later specialised in neurosurgery.
She then trained as a District Nurse and spent the next 15 years delivering nursing care in the community. This varied role saw Maria supporting patients with complex health care needs including those with long term chronic conditions and cancer. She also provided palliative care and nursing in the home and later took on a teaching role to educate other nurses and carers in this field.
Maria completed a Bachelor of Science in Health Studies in 2009 and migrated to Perth in 2010, where she joined the acute oncology unit at St John of God Hospital in the role of Breast Care Nurse and Clinical Nurse Consultant in Cancer Services.
Maria finds the breast care nurse role particularly rewarding, utilising all of her previous experience to support people from diagnosis and throughout their cancer journey.
Currently Maria is in the process of completing a Post Graduate Certificate in Oncology Nursing.
“I believe in the best possible care for the individual; physically, mentally and spiritually and to meet these needs requires a cohesive team, who are skilled and can work in collaboration. I am so pleased to be working in such a team. This is a special role and I feel strongly about the importance of delivery of quality client care to meet positive outcomes”
Maria works Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday.
McGrath Breast Care Nurse
After training in England and beginning her nursing career in neurosciences and intensive care, Diane developed an interest in complex pain management, especially in people with advanced cancer and subsequently moved into palliative care nursing in 1995. She worked in a variety of different settings including inpatients units, hospice and community palliative care, utilizing a team approach to provide holistic management of people with advanced malignant and non-malignant conditions.
In Australia, Diane worked as a Breast Care Nurse and Clinical Research Nurse at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital and completed a Master of Palliative Care qualification at ECU in 2010. She is now interested in studying for a formal counselling qualification in the near future.
Prior to joining Breast Cancer Care WA, Diane worked with Cancer Council as a Cancer Support Coordinator, looking at holistic assessment and provision of psychosocial support to people following a cancer diagnosis.
"I firmly believe that anyone who is faced with or who may care for someone with a cancer diagnosis, should be able to access information and support freely to assist them in all stages of their cancer journey. Working as part of a dedicated, specialized team such as Breast Cancer Care WA will enable me to provide a personalized, holistic service to clients and their families, as they try to cope with the challenges associated with a breast cancer diagnosis."
Di works Wednesday, Thursday & Friday
McGrath Breast Care Nurse
Karen brought a wealth of experience in oncology and palliative care nursing to Breast Cancer Care WA when she joined in September 2015. For the past seven years, she has worked as a breast care nurse at RPH Breast Assessment Clinic, Sir Charlie Gardiner Hospital Breast Centre and as a McGrath Breast Care Nurse in Hobart, Tasmania where she worked closely with women with metastatic breast cancer, including co-facilitating a support program.
Karen has joined the team at Breast Cancer Care WA, as the first dedicated breast care nurse for people affected with metastatic disease thanks to the funding from McGrath Foundation. She feels privileged to have the opportunity to serve women with metastatic disease in this new role, and aims to provide individualised, co-ordinated, and high quality care.
When not at work, Karen enjoys bush or beach walking, swimming, stand up paddle boarding, and the company of good friends.
Breast Care Nurse
Joan started her nursing career at the West Australian School of Nursing where she graduated with the Director of Nursing award for the practice of nursing. Post-graduation she worked at RPH in Intensive Care and later worked as a District Nurse where she learnt to deal with varied and complex patients in the community setting. This included caring for Silver Chain Hospice patients and their families.
Following the birth of her three children, Joan returned to nursing at St John of God Hospital Subiaco, where she worked in the Post Anaesthetic Care Unit. It was here she cared for women immediately after their breast cancer surgery and developed an interest in cancer nursing and pain management.
Joan has been working as a Specialist Breast Care Nurse since 2016, having completed a Post Graduate Certificate in Breast Cancer Nursing through the Australian College of Nurses. Joan is passionate about delivering exceptional, holistic evidence based care to all her clients. She continues to work as a Specialist Breast Care Nurse at St John of God and combined with her role at Breast Cancer Care WA is able to draw on both to ensure her clients are receiving the best practice care and support. Joan believes that psycho-social support is an integral part of the care required by our clients.
"I feel it is a privilege to care for women and their families as they face the challenge of a breast cancer diagnosis. It is wonderful to be a part of such a dedicated, cohesive team at Breast Cancer Care WA."