Making a difference to patients at the only nurse-led bowel cancer helpline

Award-winning nurse Paula Madden brings three decades of experience to the UK’s only nurse-led bowel cancer helpline, run by the support and campaigning charity Beating Bowel Cancer

Award-winning nurse Paula Madden brings three decades of experience to the UK’s only nurse-led bowel cancer helpline, run by the support and campaigning charity Beating Bowel Cancer. She speaks to Clare Lomas about how she got involved, and how she is aiming to make a difference for bowel cancer patients who often lack ongoing support

Abstract

As senior nurse adviser on the Beating Bowel Cancer helpline, former Nursing Standard nurse of the year Paula Madden has a rewarding but often challenging role.

‘I really enjoy making a difference to someone’s life and being part of the patient’s whole pathway. But dealing with people who have a poor prognosis, especially when young, can be extremely hard,’ she says.

‘I recently spoke to someone on the helpline who was terminal and the same age as me. She had two young children and wanted to know how to tell them that she wouldn’t always be around. These are tough questions to answer, but it is what patients need to know.’

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This article was first published in print under the original title 'Hope on the line' in Cancer Nursing Practice: volume 14, issue 8

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