- 05 January 2022
- 7 min read
What Is A Haematology Nurse?
Laura talks us through what a Haematology Nurse is and what life could look like for you, day to day.
Topics Covered In This Article
Hi guys, my name is Laura and I'm one of the Haematology Nurses from the NHS, and I've been working on the field for about four years.
Today, I will be talking about what a Haematology Nurse is and more specifically, what is Haematology Nursing and what do we do?
Haematology is the branch of medicine where we look after and investigate conditions that are associated with blood problems and also bone marrow problems, which is the factory where all the blood cells are made.
We look after as well, people with red cell disorders, which are usually inherited conditions like sickle cell disease or thalassemia.
There are many types of blood cancer and the three main cancerous haematological disorders that we treat are leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma.
Haematology Nurses work in many different areas.
We can work in the hospital, in the outpatient setting, in the community setting, in acute and palliative care.
Also in Radiotherapy or Chemotherapy wards or medical wards.
Lots of our patients are treated in the outpatient setting or the day unit, or even with tablet-based treatment that they might just take at home.
But some of our patients of course do need more intensive treatment for weeks that will be an inpatient of the wards.
That is what I've been working and in what this video is based.
The treatments that we use as inpatient are generally slightly stronger, more complicated treatments, maybe Chemotherapy treatments that are more likely to have side effects.
So the patients might need additional support and things that we can safely do in the community setting.
How Can You Become A Haematology Nurse?
But how you can be Haematology Nurse and get into this world?
Well, you just have to apply as to any other specialty and don't be scared if you feel that you don't have enough knowledge.
We all have been there, trust me.
Most of the hospitals in the UK have a special training program for new Band 5 Haematology Nurses.
In this process, Nurses learn about putting evidence into practice and how to provide both curative and palliative treatments for all type of cancer and blood disorders.
As the Nurses, we are responsible for quickly assessing and provide appropriate interventions.
I think these introduction courses are very useful for new Nurses to understand what this disease we are treating, how it progress, and why we are giving each treatment.
After this course, most of the Nurses, they can feel they're hungry to learn more because it's super interesting.
And there are many branches in Haematology.
When you get more experienced on the world, you can also do some Chemotherapy courses.
Haematology Nurses, we are dedicated Nurses that understand the Chemotherapy that we are giving, and we understand the toxicity that it involves.
Stand Out Roles
The role that I think stands out in Haematology Nursing is clearly dedicated into bone marrow transplant roles.
It's a specific role you need to support patients and families through it.
Usually, once you've acquired the competencies to give Chemotherapy, Nurses can apply for Band six posts and they get more involved in bone marrow transplant, which is extremely interesting topic.
And you get more in touch with the team as well, which is great because we have a big group of colleagues.
That's one of the nice things about Haematology as well is that we do get to work in a really big and diverse team.
In a normal hospital you will find they're going through the Consultant of each sub specialty, Registras, HSOs, advance Nurse practitioners and clinical Nurses especially Laboratory Staff, Psychologists, Dieticians, Physiotherapists, Occupational Health Workers.
And I hope I haven't left anyone.
That's my sort of close working group.
And I think then with the disciplinary team is really important part of the treatment plan.
What Could My Day Look Like?
Let me start with how a normal day could look.
If I was on the ward, I might start in the morning by coming in, getting handover from whoever was on the previous shift, making sure that weren't any origin issues on the ward, then doctors tend to do a ward round, review all the inpatients and discussing the plan for the patient.
A typically work day can be hectic, but it's always rewarding.
Certain tasks must always be completed like physical assessment, administering medication, bathing, toileting and running with Doctors.
You may have a patient who is newly diagnosed with cancer, or you might have a patient that is having a sickle cell crisis or basis that they are having their transplant day that day.
So it's very varied with different basis and it's patient has different necessities that we will take care of.
There's a lot of flexibility in how you kind of structure your work.
We are very busy, but that's because we do full-time clinic and you're aware patients can get worse very quickly.
And the key is to have very clear tasks and one-by-one attend all of our patients, listen to our colleagues, learn how to escalate and work as a team is key as in any other work.
But to be honest, I'll enjoy each day I get to spend with my patients, seeing them smile or reach my hand.
I always said that with such a terrible disease as cancer, I hope that one good and positive thing that could come from their state is me, my team and the care that we provide.
One of the great things about Haematology is the long term relationship that we have with our patients, because we can know them from sort of the beginning of their disease, all the way through their entire lives.
So, you do really know everything about them, you know their family circumstances, what's going on in their lives.
So you see them as a whole, not just at diagnosis or a patient. In my experience, what I find particularly rewarding is when you have a patient and this patient come to the Haematology outpatient division, who's perhaps been really unwell on the wards and has got better.
And it's telling you how much that they're feeling and that's the best feeling in the world.
I think being a Haematology Nurse is a great career and I would strongly recommend it to anyone because you can see in some patients the progress, the advance of your basing from the inpatient ward up to when they feel better.
And yeah, I think that's great.
Thank you for watching.
And if you'd like to see more of what's going on on the Nurses ward, you can visit Nurses.co.uk and I hope you have a great day.