The Prostate Cancer Specialist Nursing Service is part of a national framework providing care to those affected by prostate cancer in various locations throughout Australia. The role of the nurse is to provide an expert point of contact for the patient, providing both psychosocial and clinical support to men with prostate cancer.
In the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), the Prostate Cancer Specialist Nurse works solely from the Canberra Hospital and provides services to public patients from the ACT and Southern region of New South Wales (NSW) where prostate cancer is the most common male cancer and has a combined population of 540,000 residents.
The group of patients serviced by this role includes men with a new diagnosis of localised or advanced prostate cancer, and those with disease recurrence.
To raise awareness of this important role in the ACT context, discuss the range of clinical activities recorded by the nurse in this role, and to reflect on the value of this data to the local context.
12 months of service activity data was analysed to understand the clinical activity patterns of the prostate cancer specialist nurse in this setting.
Data described includes total number of patient contacts, contacts provided to new patients, rural versus metropolitan status, stage in pathway at referral, nursing activities performed over the reporting period and levels of intervention as a measure of time spent and complexity per episode of care.
This data helps us to understand the local context of service provision, numbers of referrals, and encourages reflection on needs of future data collection to provide further specific clinical profiles of the care provided to this patient group.