Mandy on being a Macmillan community nurse

Published: 28 February 2020

Mandy is a Macmillan Community Nurse based in Hinchingbrooke Hospital. Part of her job is visiting people affected by cancer and supporting them in their own homes.

‘I think people often associate us with being very hands-on, but a lot of our job is listening and providing emotional support.’

'We're there for the entire journey.'

My day-to-day job usually involves several visits to patients in their own homes. No two visits will ever be the same. I could be meeting someone new for the first time, doing re-visits, assessing, reviewing or reassessing treatments.

We spend a lot of time listening. It’s a very informal, relaxed role, going into people’s own homes is very different to seeing somebody in a hospital environment because that person is in their own environment.

Often, as people become less well, our input becomes more frequent and more significant to them.

There are some common themes, like sadness and anger. But actually I think the thing I found very surprising about the job was how strong people become. It’s actually quite inspirational.

'We spend a lot of time listening.'

There are people who actually come out of it a lot stronger than at the beginning of their journey. So yeah, we do see big changes. 

For somebody approaching treatment, who has to give up work to undergo that treatment, the financial implications are huge. And we are a good resource for providing information on how to manage those issues.

It’s a really satisfying feeling when things go well for people and some of that is down to the support that they’ve had from us.

I think often people assume we’re only there for the very end. But that’s not true. We’re here from the very beginning. It’s such a valuable service, all the way through. Wherever you are in your journey, there’s a resource there for you.

I think people underestimate the value of Macmillan and it would be wonderful if there were more of us.

We have more information about Macmillan nurses.