For the first time in Jersey, a nurse who has recently graduated has been given the opportunity to fast track her career to enable her to specialise in oncology.
Chloë De La Cloche completed her on-Island study in July. Usually, nursing graduates undertake a preceptorship in a general medical field before deciding if they want to specialise further.
However, Chloë, who knew that she wanted to work within this specialised field as soon as she first started training to be a nurse, is instead undertaking a preceptorship on the oncology unit. This means she will be able to become a fully qualified oncology nurse much sooner than if she had gone down the traditional route.
Chloë, a 36-year-old mum from St Brelade, said: “It’s such an exciting opportunity, and I feel honoured and privileged to have been chosen for this position, ultimately allowing me to fast track to becoming a fully accredited chemotherapy nurse.
“Traditional practice has been to consolidate training before moving into a specialist role, however this is where my passion lies. I have life experience. I know what I want. Why would I not start here? I feel like the patients have taken to me really well. I appreciate that they know I’m learning and even though many aren’t feeling at their best when they attend oncology, they’re still more than willing to help and assist me while I develop my skills.”
Chloë started working on the unit in September. In April she will begin an eight-week course with Birmingham City University to learn how to administer chemotherapy drugs. She will then be supervised while treating Jersey patients before being able to administer the drugs herself from around September 2023.
Chloë says that it is only because she was able to train to be an adult nurse in Jersey as well as the fact that she can undertake the chemotherapy course online that she can balance being a mum while also achieving her dream of becoming an oncology nurse. As soon as I started the training course I realised I had a passion for caring for those with this type of diagnosis. For me, the focus isn’t as much on the end result for the patient but more about being a support to them.
“What makes it special is that it’s not just the patient and their family who are on the journey, as an oncology nurse, you commit to the journey with them. You support them through the hard times and celebrate the wins with them, for example, when a patient comes to the end of their treatment.”
Rachael Conway, unit manager for oncology and haematology, said: “It is unusual to take a preceptorship nurse into such a specialist field, however, we as a team decided we were willing and keen to put all of our efforts in to supporting a preceptorship nurse to achieve the goal of becoming a fully qualified oncology nurse.
“Chloë was fantastic at interview and demonstrated her desire and commitment to succeed in this specialist field. We know she will make a fantastic team member and are looking forward to supporting her development over the next 12 months.”
Chief Nurse, Rose Naylor, added: “Given the international and national workforce pressures in healthcare, it’s important to look to new ways to support career development for all staff. It’s good news for patients, for Chloë and for our team and I am confident that Chloë will gain all of the experience she needs to develop into a specialist role.”
The Minister for Health and Social Services, Deputy Karen Wilson, said: “This is exactly the kind of innovation we welcome which will provide specialist and much-needed care to patients. Nurses have an amazing ability to develop skills in their clinical practice to deliver compassionate and person-centred care which Chloë clearly represents.”