The crucial role of a Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)


Claire Deering, Brachytherapy Clinical Nurse Specialist at the Prostate Brachytherapy Centre

Claire Deering, Brachytherapy Clinical Nurse Specialist at the Prostate Brachytherapy Centre, Royal Surrey County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, gives us an insight into her role and the support she provides patients undergoing LDR-Brachytherapy treatment.

What is the difference between a Urology Nurse Specialist and a Prostate Nurse Specialist?

According to research commissioned by Prostate Cancer UK, the specialist cancer nursing community is pivotal to patient experience. The National Cancer Patient Experience Survey (NCPES) in England has demonstrated that patients with cancer who have access to a Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) generally report better experiences of care and understanding of the disease. They are less likely to feel isolated and more likely to feel they have their information needs met and are in control of their own decisions. However there is a wide geographic variation in the provision of specialist nursing for men with prostate cancer.

As Clinical Nurse Specialists, within the treatment of prostate cancer, the roles of Urology Nurse Specialist and Prostate Nurse Specialist remain linked. However, there has been an evolution within the role of the prostate cancer nurse specialist, which has led to the formation of sub specialist nurses. For example, working in a tertiary referral specialist centre, I am lucky enough to work within a nurse specialist team that is now made up of a Prostatectomy CNS, a Diagnostic CNS, a Community Outreach Prostate CNS and Metastatic Prostate Cancer CNS.

This sub specialising has enabled my job as a brachytherapy nurse specialist to evolve into an interesting and immersive role. It combines elements of the role o