A day with cancer nurse line manager Naomi Fitzgibbon

We spend a day with Naomi Fitzgibbon, cancer nurseline manager at the Irish Cancer Society.

7am

When the weather’s good, I cycle to work in Ballsbridge. If it’s raining I take the Dart from Dalkey. Sometimes I squeeze in a bit of yoga.

9am

First thing I do is say “Hi” to everyone
before grabbing a coffee. Then I meet the cancer nurseline team and the co-ordinator of the survivor support volunteers. The nurseline is staffed by experienced oncology nurses, while survivor support is given by volunteers who were themselves diagnosed with cancer and can really relate to the newly diagnosed patient.

10am

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month so the team discusses what we are doing to support people. Anytime we run a media campaign I need to make sure the nurseline staff have all the material they need to respond to queries. We
recently completed research on women with metastatic breast cancer which found they’re not experiencing the same
increase in survival rates or improved quality of life compared to patients with early stage breast cancers.

11am

The nurseline is busy, predominantly with people looking for information. We have information booklets that we can send them or we can signpost them to the
relevant information on our website.

12.30pm

Weather dictates whether I stroll along the canal or head for the canteen.

1.30pm

I respond to emails and queries. We have over 2,000 pages of information on our website. We work closely with the
information development team, reviewing and updating our information booklets.

3pm

I check in with the helpline staff to see if any usual requests have come in. On the days something breaks in the media, it’s all hands on deck. For instance when VEEP star Julia Louis-Dreyfus recently
announced she’d been diagnosed with breast cancer, the helpline was hopping.

4pm

I meet with the social media team about an upcoming LiveChat facility on our Facebook page.

5.30pm

I head home to my husband. I have my own business on the side, an online
vintage boutique, and I like to get stuck into that.

Cancer Nurseline 1800-200700

Information at cancer.ie

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