Working life: Vivienne Curran, colorectal nurse Specialist, Mercy University Hospital

Vivienne Curran

My husband drops the two younger kids to school. The eldest is studying medicine in Galway. 

I work with patients who have a diagnosis of colorectal cancer and inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s or Colitis) plus other conditions like diverticular disease and anal conditions. 

We do ward rounds early in the morning, checking on pre- and post-operative patients.


I support and organise colorectal cancer patients from diagnosis, surgery /treatment, recovery and follow up. 

Monday mornings involve multidisciplinary team meetings (MDT) where cancer patients are discussed and treatment plans formulated. 

I co-ordinate the MDT and communicate treatment plans to patients and any other disciplines involved after the meeting. Morning coffee is usually enjoyed on the go.


We have an operating list on Mondays and Thursdays so I try to link up with patients and their relatives to see how they’re doing. 

They’ll have met me initially at the out-patient clinic and I am the one consistent face throughout their treatment. 

Tuesday mornings include a pre- assessment clinic for people going for surgery. I am there to answer any queries or concerns they may have. 

We’re committed to the enhanced recovery programme to promote the best possible outcome after major bowel surgery which means we focus on getting the patient up and about and back to their normal life as soon as possible after keyhole surgery.


Lunch is half an hour eaten at my desk.

Afternoons vary between an outpatient clinic for return patients on a Tuesday and new patients on a Friday where you could see up to 20-40 patients with different conditions varying from haemorrhoids to bowel cancer.


On Thursdays, I catch up on paperwork. I provide a telephone support service for post op colorectal patients — advice, intervention, and help resolve any potential problems. A lot of time is spent ringing patients with results.

I also teach anal irrigation which establishes a bowel care routine to fit into a patient’s daily life if they suffer with constipation or faecal incontinence (inability to control when the bowel opens).


I try to finish about 5pm but it can vary. After a quick spin home, I like to fit in a walk or a spot of baking which helps me relax.

* For details on the Mercy Hospital Foundation seet 


The latest album reviewsReviews: Gil Scott-Heron, Moses Boyd

Exercise helps get the creative juices flowing as well as giving me the headspace to figure out whatever design conundrum may have arisen, interior designer Emma Kelly tells Aileen LeeDesign/Life: Meet interior designer Emma Kelly

More From The Irish Examiner