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Breast Care Nurse

10 REPLIES 10
kirsten
Member

Re: Breast Care Nurse

I have real difficulty communicating with my allocated BC NURSE. I am willing to admit it may be a clash of personalities but that doesn't really help. She wasn't at any of my initial specialist meetings and made an appointment with me just before chemo started. It was proabably the most negative meeting I have ever had and I investigate crimes for a living. I am quite a positive person and I like facts and details. Everything she said had a negative kick in the tail, for example "you have to keep an eye on your weight during treatment, followed by some people get fat ". Or my mums personal favourite. " when you get to the 5th chemo treatment you will feel like it's almost over but the 6th one is often the worst". She gave me no useful info, I am not great with that soft sympathetic voice thing and I left feeling thoroughly deflated and probably for the first time in my life a little depressed. I have since kicked myself in the backside, done a little research and found myself a cancer support group. I haven't gone yet but at least I know it's there. I read the stuff on here when I need help and I simply ignore the BC nurse.
She came into my oncologist meeting last week, uninvited and was no help. She even managed to keep referring to my partner as my husband which did make me giggle a bit.
I am thoroughly un impressed with her as an individual but I do have to say my care has been first class, and as far as I am concerned she is just in the wrong job and I am sure there are great BC nurses out there who are doing a sterling job
Patriciamay
Member

Re: Breast Care Nurse

What an interesting thread.  I am sure the BCNurses would be mortified if they realised the level of dis-satisfaction out  there.  I know why there is a named BCN, it is because of NICE guidelines, and hospitals tick a box if they allocate a name per patient,  But I think someone mentions below, if this isn't realistic, I agree I would really rather not be allocated a named nurse and access a team if I had queries.

 

i also wanted to re-emphasise that my treatment has been first class under the NHS, I really couldn't have wished for better.

feelthefear
Member

Re: Breast Care Nurse

Hi Lizzie.
If you read through this thread you'll see many of us are in the same situation. I managed to get the numbers for five bc nurses from the department where I had my op. Now when I need to speak to someone I just call them all until I get one that answers. I've rarely managed to speak to mine but the others can help just as much. X
Lizzie
Member

Re: Breast Care Nurse

So far and I'm really sorry to say this I have had a very poor experience with my bc nurse, which I spoke about yesterday on the thread ( surgery tomorrow) 4th May. To actually get to speak with her - pre op, I had to go to the hospital the day before my op and sit and wait until she was free to see me.  I needed to ask a question (just one) 're times for coming in as the hospital had given me different times.  I had left several messages every day for a week explaining that I needed some clarification re Times.  The bc nurse knew my husband and I were there - we were told to wait - waited just over half an hour then we explained to the receptionist I needed to go and have my injection soon - she checked with the bc nurse who said go and come back.  When we came back we again had to wait as the receptionist went and told the bc nurse we were there and when the receptionist came back she told us the bc nurse was having her lunch. So we had to wait whilst the bc nurse had her lunch.  

I said nothing when I saw her but I wasn't thinking lovely thoughts!

Yesterday I tried to contact my bc nurse - I tried 3 times and couldn't even leave a message as the mail box was full.  I went through the operator and bleeped her (as she had told me to do) but she didn't respond to it.

I appreciate these ladies must be very busy - it seems as if they must have too much on their plate .  How I feel is that I would rather not have a named bc nurse if it is just a tick paper exercise and not something that can actually be delivered.  

I am a very positive person and I dislike that that this is how I feel about my bc nurse but I can only go on my own experience.  This has been the only negative thing, I have Bern treated very well, professionally and kindly by everyone.

lizred
Member

Re: Breast Care Nurse

Hi, just to give you a different perspective, my BCN has been great - I usually have to leave a message but she nearly always gets back to me that day or the day after at the latest and quickly follows up on any questions etc I have. There have been a couple of times though when I've seen someone else at an appointment (presume my BCN was on holiday) and I didn't find her as helpful so definitely would be worth asking if you could be assigned to someone else? I do understand your frustration tho as my care for other health issues (different hospital) has been nearly non-existent and I feel I can never get anyone to listen to me, return calls etc - really doesn't help when you're anxious or trying to get your head round what is going on!

Hope things improve x

Ezzie1698
Member

Re: Breast Care Nurse

A big thank you to all for responding to my thread.  It makes me feel a lot better that I am not the only one but somewhat disappointed that it does happen.  I finally got a call late this afternoon but I did get the feeling that her compassion and sympathy gene had been dis-engaged.  Maybe that is the only way that they can get through their working day.  I wouldn't like to do it.

 

Here's hoping that the rest of the team do the trick in making me feel more comfortable and confident with the situation.  Otherwise, I might just be wearing the small contents of my 'new kitchen savings account' on my chest having used it for a private assessment! 😉 x

feelthefear
Member

Re: Breast Care Nurse

Hi Ezzie.
The same here; out of the 6 times I've called my bcn, I've only been able to speak to her once. She works part time and has taken a lot of holidays recently. Now, when I need to speak to anyone, I just call the bc department and ask to speak to a nurse. Any that are available will take your call. Not ideal I know, but better than nothing. Most of the advice I should of probably been given by my bcn I've actually been given by the ladies in this forum.
Anniej
Community Champion

Re: Breast Care Nurse

Hi Ezzie, yes, similar experience to you re phone call help. Totally different experience face to face, though, thankfully. I asked why the delay and apparently there are clinics a.m, so no BC around, then team meetings to discuss cases, so another delay. I used the helpline here when it was bad. A BCN did get back to me eventually. I had a fast growing but bog standard tumour, and had confidence in my team that they were working hard on my behalf. I would certainly persevere with phone calls, bearing in mind they can only tell you what has already been discussed. I went into my clinic once for a face to face, but I'm quite near the hospital. Hoping you get something sorted. Best wishes. X

SandraSussex
Member

Re: Breast Care Nurse

Hi Ezzie

I have experienced the same with my BCN's! They have come in on 2 of my appointments but inbetween when I have needed support they haven't returned any calls.
There Is a breast ERAS nurse at my hospital who has been amazing but she is on the surgical recovery side so now that bit it over for me I won't be seeing her.
Funny enough I bumped into my mac BCN in Tesco Express last night and had a conversation!
Keep phoning every day!

Sandra x
Patriciamay
Member

Re: Breast Care Nurse

Hi Ezzie

 

everybody will have different experiences with their hospital and the way they work.  So, my experience has been that the pathway, treatment, medical and surgical, and ward team have been 100%responsive kind and caring.  However , unfortunately my BCN has been very much the same as you are experiencing, in fact I gave up trying to get any kind of info from her, and had I needed more treatment I would have asked for a different nurse.

 

My nurses did have a system where they answered at lunchtime, if you left message on answer phone.

 

I hate being negative as my treatment has been fantastic, the NHS at its best.  Perhaps your nursing team need a little nudge, you don't need the anxiety and They are meant to help.  There is the nurse line here too, xxx

Ezzie1698
Member

Breast Care Nurse

Hello everyone.

 

i have recently been diagnosed with a large high grade DCIS.  I have an appointment very shortly to see the consultants but beforehand I wanted to check some information with my breast cancer nurse.

 

i phoned her and left a message to contact me which she did after 5 hours.  Unfortunately I couldn't take the call but she did say she would try again in the next 1.5 working days.  This period has now elapsed without any further attempt to call me.  I have tried again this morning but have had to leave a message as it went direct to answer phone.

 

I appreciate that they have other jobs to do and they are not waiting by the phone just in case I call but what is reasonable to expect?  This is all pretty new for me and I am not exactly getting that warm fuzzy feeling when I could do with a bit of hand holding!

 

Some of my questions are clinic/case specific so it is not exactly something that I can ask here.

 

Thank you for reading/'listening' to my worries.