Tough day at work? Fortunately very few of us will have faced a workload comparable to the emotional expenditure of Can Misses Oncology post-diagnosis team.

This small team of nurses are charged with the care of patients, and the families of patients, immediately following a cancer diagnosis.

Diario journalist Marta Torres Molina published this report today. In it she introduces the team and explains advances in resources and method at Can Misses.

We will all consider ourselves lucky if this article is our only experience of their work, but should we find ourselves a patient in their care, we can take some confidence of being in the best hands.

  • Words, Marta Torres Molina, Photo Vicent Mari, Feature photo Pixabay. 

Can Misses Cancer Care Unit

Due to a lack of resource space at the hospital, a Can Misses cancer patient could expect little more than a very brief talk behind some screens in the corner of a consulting room.

This was the intimacy with which, until a few weeks ago, the patients of Oncology and their relatives solved the doubts about the illness, the treatment, the feeding, the side effects …

Since last October 1st, however, these conversations are held in a closed space , in the specific nursing consultation unit for cancer that has launched the Can Misses Hospital.

can misses cancer care
Marga Joaniquet, Nuria Pascual and Ángela Caballo, in the new nursing consultation for cancer patients.

“Now there is more intimacy, you can explain everything much better and they also express themselves more freely,” says Ángela Caballo, one of the four nurses of the Oncology Day Hospital who attends this consultation together with Marga Joaniquet, Nuria Pascual and Laura Bonet.

Some time ago they wanted to start this consultation, but for this they needed to have a stable nursing staff, they explain. And this was not possible until Pascual joined the team permanently.

All insist that, although the project was a team effort, it was Bonet who was responsible for shaping it and who went to train at the hospital of Son Llàtzer, in Mallorca, a pioneer in a consultation of these characteristics.

The four of them take turns attending the consultation, which is right in front of the door of the room where the chemotherapy is administered and a few meters from the Oncology service.

The objective is to answer all the doubts that they and their families have about a process, chemotherapy, which, in general, scares them. In that first encounter, between the information and the impact of the diagnosis, they do not usually retain much of what they are told, so they are asked to write down all the doubts that arise in a notebook and give them a telephone in case of any those worries especially distress them.

There are tissues on the round table . “Many emotions are released,” say the nurses, who say that in that space “there is no time”. The patient has everything he needs. Without noises. Without anyone to listen to them. Without them having to be aware of the other patients, as it happened in the chemotherapy room.

This consultation allows us to be more aware of the patient’s condition. Control, for example, the food and the weight of the patient, especially to avoid anorexia and cachexia (malnutrition) . See if they need any additional resources, such as the palliative care unit or the social worker. And be alert in case you feel alone.

The nurses take turns in this consultation. Each week one of them is responsible for caring for patients or relatives. “It has a significant emotional strain”, justify all of them, who insist that, although theirs is hard work, it is also “very rewarding”.

Both patients and family members can call them directly by phone to make an appointment. Or request it when they attend the sessions. The four are convinced that having this space will increase the consultations. “Many times, in the day hospital they see you so busy with the patients that it’s hard for them to ask you,” they say.