People You May Meet
Please click the various roles for more information.
|Child Psychiatrist||A physician who specialises in assessment and treatment of mental health issues.|
|Endocrinologist||A physician who specialises in hormonal diseases and growth problems.|
|Neurologist||A physician who specialises in non-surgical diseases of the central nervous system.|
|Neurosurgeon||A physician who specialises in surgery of the central nervous system. This includes both the brain and spinal cord.|
|Ophthalmologist||A physician who specialises in the diagnosis and treatment of eye disorders.|
|Oncologist||A physician who specialises in caring for children with cancer.|
|Pathologist||A physician who specialises in analysis of samples obtained from tissue, organs, fluid and bone from the body.|
|Radiologist||A physician who specialises in the reading of images such as MRI scans, CT scans and X-rays.|
|Radiation Oncologist||A physician who specialises in the treatment of cancer by radiation therapy.|
|Rehabilitation Consultant||A physician who specialises in the rehabilitation treatment of patients recovering from injury.|
Fellows are senior doctors who are training to become specialist doctors in oncology (cancer). They are often very close to qualifying as specialists and therefore perform many of the roles of the consultants. Fellows generally change every 12 months.
Registrars are senior doctors who are in training to become specialists in caring for children; some may become specialists in cancer. These doctors work under the direction of the consultants and fellows, they change approximately every six months so they can gain experience in caring for children with different diseases.
Residents are junior doctors in training. Resident doctors work under the direction of the registrars and change approximately every three months so they can gain experience in all areas of medicine.
The nurse unit manager oversees the care of all the children whilst they are within the hospital. The Nurse Unit Manager is also responsible for supervising the nursing staff who works within the ward. Any queries or concerns should be directed to the Nurse Unit Manager.
The clinical nurse consultant (CNC) is a senior nurse who specialises within a particular field. Within the Oncology unit you will be allocated a CNC at your child’s initial hospitalisation. The CNC will then provide ongoing contact with your community including local schools and regional medical centres. Their role also includes education about your child’s type of cancer and the treatment plan established by the consultants.
Allied Health Staff
The social worker helps the family cope with the crisis of the diagnosis and the adjustment to the treatment journey. This can also involve providing emotional support and counselling. Social workers can also assist with support in decision-making and with communication between the family and child, hospital staff and others.
The welfare worker supports the family by organising practical and financial assistance. This may be in the form of complex accommodation or travel bookings or financial help through the welfare clinic.
The occupational therapist assists with the child’s emotional adjustment to the treatment process as well as providing developmental therapy and rehabilitation when needed. They can help the child to cope with emotional distress and anxiety that they may experience with medical procedures, using developmentally appropriate procedural play, relaxation and other techniques. They teach the child and their siblings about the illness and its treatments and they can advise parents with regard to their child about the illness and managing the child’s behaviour.
The physiotherapist helps the child with problems related to their breathing, body conditioning and mobility. They provide therapy that helps to maintain the child’s strength, endurance and body condition. Their work may involve rehabilitation for muscular/skeletal, or neurological problems caused by illness or treatments.
The dietician ensures that the child is eating enough to prevent weight loss and to allow for normal growth. The dietician will explain the importance of good nutrition during treatment and how to manage possible side effects of treatment (e.g. loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, constipation, taste changes). The dietician also advises on nutritional supplements and the use of nasogastric tube feeding.
Speech pathologists have a wide role in childhood communication, including the assessment and treatment of speech, language, voice and stuttering disorders. They will help with the development of non-speech communication systems including signing, picture and communication boards and more complex electronic communication devices. Speech pathologists can also work with children who may have delayed chewing skills development or swallowing problems that have arisen due to illness or injury.
The music therapist provides a familiar, positive and non-threatening musical experience in assisting the child to cope with hospitalisation and illness. Through instrumental playing, singing and song writing, music therapy aims to offer opportunities for self expression, emotional validation, relaxation and social interaction.
The child psychologist is a clinician who is specialised in providing psychological therapies and interventions. These interventions may be initiated where there are mental health concerns and / or where a child’s adjustment issues are becoming more chronic and interfering with their emotional / social functioning or with their medical treatment.
The main role of the Clinical Research Associate (CRA) is to facilitate the enrolment of paediatric oncology patients onto clinical studies through national and international cooperative research organisations. Global clinical studies for children have resulted in the cancer cure rate rising from less than 10% in the 1950s to nearly 80% now. All clinical research is submitted for ethical approval and it is the CRAs responsibility to ensure that the international guidelines of Good Clinical Practice are adhered to and monitored throughout all studies.
Specialist facilities are provided within the hospital for ongoing schooling. Educational services are provided as a regular on-site school for students or a ward based service for those patients unable to attend the classroom. Eligible students may be inpatients, outpatients or siblings of a patient.