Meet Bronwyn (Bron) Jennings, Gynaecology Oncology Clinical Nurse Consultant at Mater Health and ANZGOG member…
Bron completed her Bachelor of Nursing in 2006. Since that time she has worked at several health organisations across Brisbane in inpatient, outpatient and community health care settings. Bron has completed a Masters in Nursing, Graduate Certificate in Cancer Science and is about to embark upon a Master of Philosophy, with the goal to articulate up into a PhD over time.
What do you do with patients?
The key aspects of my CNC role are coordination and navigation. I like to joke that like Olivia Pope on the TV show Scandal, I’m a “fixer” – if you have a question, problem or issue I will get it fixed for you! I see referrals for new patients, attend clinics and take part in MDT discussions. I see women while they are inpatients on the ward post operatively and work with member of the allied health team when planning for discharge. Most importantly I am a contact point for women, their families and other health services. I am there to explain health service processes, unfamiliar terms and help to link women into other support services and organisations.
What is like working with cancer patients?
Working with patients who have a diagnosis is a challenging, rewarding and humbling experience. Every patient is different with their own individual circumstances. Ever since I was a nursing student I was struck by the caring role that nurses provide, which is contrasted by the constantly evolving treatments and high level of clinical skill in cancer care. I’m very privileged to provide care and support to women at what is often a very difficult time in their life and I enjoy the familiarity that comes with looking after a person through their initial referral, treatment and onto surveillance.
How do gynae cancer patients differ in terms of treatment and support?
I think there’s still so many unknowns when it comes to gynae cancers – both in diagnosis and symptoms, but also literature and evidence on the care we are currently providing. Gynae cancer patients (and health professionals) are still finding their voice in a health care system that is filled with other cancer types and chronic health conditions. Information and support are not as developed compared to other cancer types – we need to do better. This is where professional organisations such as ANZGOG play such an important role to promote education, evidence and research.
Have you been to an ANZGOG Annual Scientific Meeting before?
No I haven’t, but I can’t wait for the 2020 meeting coming up in a few short weeks. I am looking forward to hearing about innovations from across Australia (and the globe) and the opportunity to network with other health professionals from across Australia. As the only nurse in my role in my hospital, and one of three in Queensland you can often feel a little bit isolated, so I am looking forward to meet and learn from nurses from across the country.