Caring for teenagers and young adults with cancer

Sarah Lea, a staff nurse at University College London Hospitals and a PhD student at London South Bank University, describes her role as a nurse caring for teenagers and young adults with cancer, and how she balances this with academic research

Sarah Lea, a staff nurse at University College London Hospitals and a PhD student at London South Bank University, describes her role as a nurse caring for teenagers and young adults with cancer, and how she balances this with academic research. She also explains that you have to be up for a laugh when working with this patient group.

Abstract

Why did you become a children’s nurse?

My undergraduate degree was in sports therapy, a great profession and still a large passion of mine. However it was during my placements as a sports therapist that I recognised that helping people, talking to them and making them feel better was the part of the job I enjoyed the most, particularly with young athletes. I applied to do a postgraduate in children’s nursing and here I am now.

What might you have done otherwise?

I would have continued practising sports therapy. I still love lots of sports and enjoy talking to people about their fitness, as well as giving massages and rehabilitation advice to people with sports-related injuries. I hope someday to bring my passion for cancer nursing together with my passion for sport and exercise. I believe that the physical, social and psychological benefits of appropriate exercise rehabilitation in young cancer patients is not explored enough.

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This article was first published in print under the original title 'Youthful outlook' in Nursing Children and Young People: volume 27, issue 9

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