National Nurse Practitioner Day

Photograph of Jen Doyle
December 11, 2020

December 12 is National Nurse Practitioner Day – an important occasion for recognising some of our amazing Nurse Practitioners and the important role they have in patient care. Nurse Practitioners are registered nurses with additional training and expertise to treat injuries and illness as well as support prevention strategies.

This year’s theme ‘Writing Our Own Stories – Helping you with yours’ is an opportunity for us to share some of the stories of the amazing Nurse Practitioners at EMHS.

Meet Royal Perth Hospital Nurse Practitioner Jen Doyle who works at the Medical Oncology Unit and has done so since the service returned to RPH in 2016.

Up to 180 patients a week come through the Unit’s door and as the only Nurse Practitioner on the team Jen, and the Oncology Consultants, are responsible for the provision and management of care for each of these patients. This can include assessing pre-chemotherapy patients, prescribing medications for any side-effect’s patients may experience from their treatment, organising scans i.e. bloods and mammograms and even referrals to other services at RPBG including; allied health and social work and services outside of the hospital.

Admittedly, Jen didn’t set out to work in Oncology at the start of her nursing career, but after gaining some experience in this speciality area she fell in love with the people she cared for, and the impact she could have on their lives.

“It’s not just about the care you can give then and there, but about the long-term support that you can offer,” Jen said.

“Often, we see patients two or three times a week and they become like family, you get to know them and I think as healthcare workers we have an obligation to make sure the care we deliver will also support them in their life outside of the hospital setting.”

Aside from being able to deliver patient-centred care, Jen also loves working at RPBG because of the sense of community she experiences each day she enters the hospital.

“Kindness and excellence should be demonstrated in everything we do, and I believe that also means treating our patients, and our colleagues the way that we would want our friends, or family to be treated – even on the bad days,” she said.

“It’s been such a big year for everyone, front line staff and all the people working behind the scenes. At RPBG we all look after each other, encourage and support each other.

“The Medical Oncology team make me want to come to work. It’s never hard getting up in the morning knowing this is my job.”

Becoming a Nurse Practitioner requires a two-year full-time commitment to complete a Masters Degree qualification, but Jen’s advice to any nurse considering becoming an Nurse Practitioner would be to go for it!

“We have a special opportunity to do the right thing and impact on peoples’ lives for the better,” Jen said.

“It is definitely worth it. It’s not easy, but if you’re really passionate about what you do and want to keep improving the type of care you can deliver – then I would encourage anyone to do it!”.