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Nurse will provide cancer support in Taupō region

Nurse will provide cancer support in Taupō region

With many people in the Taupō region having to travel to Rotorua and Hamilton for treatment, it can feel like support is a long way away. But with Alison Richardson joining the Cancer Society supportive care team, there’s someone local to provide one-on-one information and support.

Alison has been caring for people her whole adult life. After leaving school in England, she worked as an auxiliary nurse, but it wasn’t until her late thirties when she began studying towards her nursing degree.

“I never gave up on my dream to be a nurse.”

Most recently Alison has worked as a telehealth triage nurse, but it’s her many years’ experience working in palliative care in the UK, Australia and New Zealand which has left a lasting impression.

“It’s a very multi-faceted role. It’s knowing when to listen and being there so people can talk about what they’re really feeling – to hear that everything’s not fine.”

“It’s being able to talk about the things that people find too raw to deal with. I feel it’s a real honour to be able to help them through that. I can’t take the burden from them, but I can help carry the load.”

Cancer Society nurses provide free, one-on-one support to people with cancer and their whānau by offering home visits and phone support to clients across the region.

They can also connect people with local support services, such as therapeutic massage, meals, counselling and rehabilitation programmes.

Alison will also run local support groups that will provide an opportunity for people affected by cancer to share information and find mutual support from others who are living a similar experience.

For Alison, it’s the chance to provide wrap-around support to the whole family and invest time in them that attracted her to the role.

“Cancer is something that affects the whole family. Their name may not be on the diagnosis, but they’re still affected.

“It’s normal in nursing for there to be a lot of rushing. But Cancer Society nurses are able to take time to sit with people and their families. That was a refreshing realisation for me.”

To get in touch with your local supportive care nurse, contact us on 0800 22 77 44.

It’s being able to talk about the things that people find too raw to deal with. I can’t take the burden from them, but I can help carry the load.

Alison Richardson, Supportive care nurse