A day in the life of Laura Rowland – Senior Chemotherapy Nurse

Laura is one of the senior chemotherapy nurses here at Clatterbridge Private Clinic and has been a part of the Clatterbridge Private team for a few years now. She said, “after gaining my chemotherapy qualification I came to work in the clinic and haven’t looked back. The care we provide for our patients is why I love this job; we spend extra time with our patients so we can really get to know them and can provide a holistic nursing experience, so the patients themselves feel in safe hands.”

At the clinic, Laura treats patients with chemotherapy and immunotherapy as well as carrying out blood tests and offering supplementary and hormone treatments. The clinic provides a relaxing and welcoming environment for treatment and one-to-one care for our patients. Here Laura discusses her day-to-day at the clinic and how she and the rest of the Clatterbridge Private Clinic team provide exceptional cancer care and try to make the patients experience as positive and relaxing as possible.

Day to day patient experience

Due to the coronavirus outbreak, extra precautions have been put in place to ensure the safety of all the patients and staff at The Clatterbridge Private Clinic. When patients get to the clinic, they let the clinic know they have arrived through the intercom at the private patient car park. The patients are then greeted by a nurse or healthcare assistant who screens them at the door. Their temperature is checked, they are checked for symptoms, and asked if they could have been in contact with anyone who may have been affected with coronavirus. Once the process is complete, and they are deemed safe to enter the clinic and prepare for treatment , the patient is provided with a mask and hand gel and brought through to the clinic for their treatment.

There are no waiting times for treatment at the Private clinic, so patients are brought straight through to receive treatment. If blood needs taking, they are done straight away, and they get their results quickly. This is one of the ways how the Clatterbridge Private Clinic differs to other healthcare settings, , there is a better capacity, so we are always ready for patients to receive treatment. It also means there is less contact during COVID-19 times, as fewer patients waiting and receiving treatment at the same time.

The treatment rooms in the Clatterbridge Private Clinic are all modern and comfortable and designed to make patient’s feel relaxed and at ease. The clinic has steered away from the traditional ‘hospital’ setting for a more relaxing environment, to make the patients treatment as easy, relaxing, and comfortable as possible for them. The chemotherapy patients that Laura treats receive their treatment in a secluded cubicle, so they can have privacy from others if they wish and to allow for social distancing measures.

Once the patients are brought through to receive their treatment, Laura talks through the treatment with them and answers any questions or concerns they may have. Patients are then offered refreshments, which they have access to throughout their whole treatment, and they are even provided with lunch.

Debbie Henery – Chemotherapy nurse at Clatterbridge Private Clinic
Debbie Henery – Chemotherapy nurse at Clatterbridge Private Clinic

Consultants always on hand and with patients every step of the way

During treatment, the patients’ consultant will often come down to talk with them, ask them how they are feeling, and give them updates on their treatment. The patients then have the opportunity to ask their consultant any questions or bring up any concerns they have, and if needed, adjustments can be put in place to suit the patient. The consultants are with the patients every step of the way and come to assess them whilst they are receiveing treatment, providing a more personal touch, and ensuring

they are always kept up to date with the patient and their treatment so they can provide the most tailored care.

“Our consultants are always on hand to enable better patient care and quick responses when we need them, but more often than not, patients are assessed the same day when having treatment. The relationships we build with the consultants make for a lovely working environment, and it’s nice to know you can ask them anything as they’re so approachable and are always on the end of a phone if not in clinic” says Laura.

Due to coronavirus, consultants tend to chat with patients via video call or over the phone to reduce face to face contact, but they are still there to provide updates and chat with patients during their treatment. Patients are often given contact details andemail addresses of their consultants or nurses in case they need to speak outside of the clinic. This allows patients at the Private Clinic to have access to their consultants and treatment team whenever they need them, at any time of day to provide assurance or offer any help and advice and answer any questions they may have.

The patients at the clinic can be referred to any specialist they may need for help including psychologists, dieticians, occupational therapists, and physiotherapists. The Clatterbridge Private Clinic have a team of expert staff who can help support patients throughout their treatment and beyond, and we also have a great relationship with the wider Clatterbridge team so have access to a wide range of skills and knowledge when needed, which enhances patient care. For example, we have our own psychologist who can help offer psychological support to patients after diagnosis and whilst they are going through treatment.

Providing a holistic nursing experience

Clare – Healthcare Assistant at Clatterbridge Private Clinic
Clare – Healthcare Assistant at Clatterbridge Private Clinic

Laura and the other nurses and healthcare assistants at Clatterbridge Private Clinic are always on hand to offer help and support to patients or are there if patients just want to chat. Laura enjoys the fact she can provide a more holistic nursing experience and gets to spend time with patients and really get to know them. Especially at the minute with COVID-19, Laura has said it’s very quiet at the clinic so she gets the chance to be pretty much one-to-one with patients throughout their whole treatment. This means she gets the opportunity to just sit and chat and get to know patients on more of a

personal level, allowing her to provide better support. Patients can ask Laura any questions they want or just talk to her as a distraction, and she’s more than happy to oblige.

Coming to the clinic is less like going to a hospital and more of a day out for patients, as they get to socialise, have lunch, have access to a wide range of refreshments throughout their treatment, and the nurses become like friends to them. Especially at the moment with patients having to shield at home, Laura and the team want to make the process as comfortable, relaxing, and enjoyable as possible for their patients. Our patients often comment on how we make their treatment individual by creating an environment in which they feel fully informed, safe, and cared for.

“Our team at Clatterbridge Private Clinic is really patient-focused and nothing is ever too much trouble, which is why I am proud to be part of this team,” says Laura.

After treatment is over, Laura will prepare patients for their next appointment, scheduling it at a time that is convenient for them. She then hands them any medications they need to take home with them and talks them through how to take them. They can then ask any questions,and Laura will make sure they are completely happy and safe to leave.

Outside of the clinic, a triage line is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for any problems or emergencies. The patient liaison team at the private clinic is also available for patients if they want to chat or ask questions or if they want to speak to a nurse such as Laura specifically. Laura and the team at Clatterbridge Private Clinic are always at the end of the phone to offer help and support and provide constant care to all their patients.

Private cancer care at the Clatterbridge Private Clinic

Here at Clatterbridge Private Clinic, we provide expert cancer care, tailored to your specific needs, in a modern and calming environment. If you have been diagnosed with cancer, and are in need of treatment such as chemotherapy, you can ask to be referred to Clatterbridge Private Clinic for your treatment. Your treatment will be provided by a dedicated multi-disciplinary team, which is made up of expert consultants who specialise in treating a range of cancers, and specialist nurses such as Laura, who can provide a range of innovative treatments to patients and ensure they receive the very best cancer care and feel relaxed and comfortable.

Our private patient liaison team is also always on hand to offer any help, support, or guidance, and work hard to make your experience as easy as possible. To find out more about private cancer care, and chemotherapy at the private clinic, contact our friendly team on 0151 556 5391 or ccf.tr.info.clinic@nhs.net.