With first year soon coming to an end, I’m already thinking about my career path when I graduate. With most students bagging a job at the end of second year, we asked the nursing team at Teenagers and Young Adults with Cancer to talk about their free membership to students, best practice and developments in nursing this specialist age group.
We would definitely recommend joining. After all, it literally costs nothing and the more educated we are as nurses, the more we can offer our patients and their families. Plus, definitely something to add to your CV.
The link can be found below for your application. It takes seconds.
As a student nurse, the idea of specialising in one type of care can be daunting; there are so many
options and so much to learn on top of an already hectic schedule. So, when you do decide which specialism
is for you, it’s essential to draw knowledge from a wide variety of resources to support lectures and placements
and really get under the skin of that chosen field.
There are organisations out there that can provide students with important information and priceless advice;
picking the brains of some of the country’s top nursing experts to help students learn from real life experiences and open new possibilities for their careers.
TYAC (Teenagers and Young Adults with Cancer) is the UK’s only membership body that brings together
professionals from a wide range of disciplines to share invaluable advice, enhance knowledge and services,
empowering members to have a positive impact on the quality of life and survival outcomes for young people
Working with teenagers and young adults can be challenging, fun and greatly rewarding. This age group
comes with special considerations that may not be associated with any other, learning how to communicate
and work alongside them is key. TYAC provides a wide range of resources and best practice guides to its
members, giving students the chance to keep as up to date as possible with the very latest developments in
the field, enabling them to grow as TYA professionals and champion the interests of young people with cancer
across the UK.
The best part – TYAC membership is free for students.
The charity’s Secretary and one of its founding members is Sue Morgan MBE, the lead Teenage Cancer Trust
Nurse Consultant at Leeds General Infirmary, one of the country’s leading Principal Treatment Centres (PCT)
for TYA cancer. An integral part of her career – and her life – has been her relationships with the young
people around her throughout her career.
She said: “I trained at University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff. Firstly, in 1976, as a State Registered Nurse
(SRN), and then as a Registered Sick Children’s Nurse (RSCN) in 1982. I then did an MA in Independent
Practice in Leeds.
“Having worked with children and young people with cancer (CYP), I realised that this was a place that was
ever changing and evolving, it’s such an exciting and rewarding specialism. I love working with the young
people and their families; working alongside multidisciplinary professionals to ensure that families are
supported. So, when the job came up to set up services for TYA with cancer as a Clinical Nurse Specialist, I
was very happily appointed.
“The greatest challenge is educating other professionals that teenagers and young adults in hospital, are
different to children and adults. They have a unique outlook and specialist needs which need to be realised.
TYAC and Teenage Cancer Trust have done a lot of excellent work in bringing this to the attention of key
policy makers and educating nurses and other professionals to deliver the best possible care for this age
“TYAC is a more than an organisation, it’s a community, where nurses, clinicians, researchers and third-party
professionals come together to share their experiences, thoughts and advice. Being part of these organisations
is one of my proudest career achievements and I would recommend membership to any aspiring teenage
“My best advice to students thinking of specialising in TYA care would be that it’s challenging and it’s tough –
seek support from your fellow nurses and keep everything in perspective. Cancer nurses need to be resilient,
thoughtful, compassionate and team players. You CAN make a difference!”
To get more information or to join click here.
Images via Shutterstock.