The A - Z of who does what
As a young carer, you’re probably going to meet a lot of different people, both in and out of hospital. We’ve put together this list of some of the people you might meet and what they do.
Benefits or welfare rights adviser
Someone who can help you claim any benefits that you or other family members may be entitled to. Benefits are payments from the government to help people in need. A nurse who cares for people at home and gives them any medication they need.
Community or district nurse
A nurse who cares for people at home and gives them any medication they need.
Someone you can talk to about your feelings and worries.
You may meet the following kinds of doctors during your time as a young carer:
A doctor who’s trained to look after the person you care for when they’re having an operation. They’ll give them the right anaesthetic for the surgery.
The senior doctor who’s in charge of a patient’s treatment. They will check the patient’s progress, plan their treatment and be in charge of their overall care. (See also multidisciplinary team.)
GP (general practitioner)
The doctor at your local doctors’ surgery. You may know this person already. They’ll look after the person you care for when they’re back at home. The consultant will keep the GP informed about treatment and progress.
A doctor who specialises in looking after people with cancer. Most are either medical or clinical oncologists. A medical oncologist is trained in the use of drugs to treat cancer. A clinical oncologist is trained to give both drugs and radiotherapy.
A doctor who tests the blood to check that a person’s blood count is okay. They also look at biopsy samples under a microscope to check the different cells.
A doctor who’s specially trained to look at x-rays and scans.
A doctor who carries out operations, such as taking a biopsy of the tumour.
University medical students
These are trainee doctors. They may come round with the qualified doctors who are treating the person you care for, so that they can learn about what happens.
Someone who cleans the wards and sometimes gives out drinks and meals.?
Macmillan or specialist nurse
A nurse who will closely watch the progress of the person you care for and give them any extra support or information they need.
Marie Curie nurse
A nurse who’s specially trained to care for people with cancer who are dying and want to stay at home.
The name given to the group of healthcare specialists who will be looking after the person you care for. The consultant will be a member of the team. The consultant will discuss the person’s care with the team and get their expert advice.
Someone who can help the person you care for carry out everyday tasks or find new things for them to do while they’re feeling unwell.
Oncology outreach nurse
A nurse who comes to people’s homes and coordinates activities.
Someone who gives out medicines that doctors have prescribed. They can also give information and advice about storing and taking medicines.
Someone who can help the person you care for with their ability to move around (their physical mobility).
If you’re finding it hard to cope, this is someone who can help you come to terms with your situation and manage your feelings.
Someone who takes x-rays and does scans. They also give radiotherapy treatment, which is planned by the radiologist.
Someone who can help you and your family with financial, work or social issues. A nurse who will make sure the person you care for is looked after while they’re in hospital. They will give them any regular treatments they need. This could include taking blood samples and giving medications or chemotherapy .
A nurse who will make sure the person you care for is looked after while they're in hospital. They will give them any regular treatments they need. This could include taking blood samples and giving medications or chemotherapy.
You can get information about different types of cancer and their treatments from Macmillan. Call 0808 808 00 00 to speak to one of their cancer support specialists. They can recommend leaflets and send them to you through the post. Calls are free. Or you might like to read the information online at macmillan.org.uk/cancerinformation
And remember – any information they send you will arrive in plain packaging, so no one will know you have asked for it.