A day in the life of an NHS breast care nurse (BCN) is never the same as the day before. And it is very different to my work at Lady McAdden Breast Cancer Trust. In my NHS role, I am one of a team of breast care nurses who work alongside the consultants and their assigned patient caseloads. In the trust I work for, the focus is on the surgical aspect of care as well as support for each patient in oncology.

The role of a BCN is holistic as we offer support – not only with the physical aspects of care – but with the emotional implications of cancer diagnosis and anxiety during the investigation stages.

We arrange and facilitate appointments and scans and are present during consultations, acting as an advocate for the patient. We ensure each patient understands the information they’re given in a tangible way. We’re also a port of call for patients and other medical teams, answering any questions they may have.

On the patient’s day of surgery, we are present to explain what will happen before, during and after their procedure. Post operatively, we are adept in managing simple and complex wounds, aiding in a positive and safe recovery experience. A typical day in clinic begins with me checking my emails first thing and responding to any urgent queries. I will then look over my clinic and begin to prep the booklets and information needed for the patients. I then, if needed, liaise with my colleagues about patients and any actions for the day. The rest of the morning and early afternoon is spent working alongside the consultant, delivering diagnoses to patients and seeing patients in a nurse led dressings clinic. As the day comes to an end, I write up my paperwork and communicate with the necessary teams on behalf of my patients. This could be sending scans, emails or making follow up calls. It is definitely a busy role, and no day is the same. I enjoy meeting different people, assisting and supporting them on their journey. I think to be a breast care nurse you have to be understanding, patient, honest, good at engaging and speaking with new people, and know how to laugh, smile or even cry with others.