Providing support and raising awareness of a delicate subject
Clare Akers, Clinical Nurse Practitioner, University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, was runner up in the urology nurse of the year category in the BJN Awards 2020
When I heard that I had been nominated and shortlisted for the award, I was surprised, delighted, and honoured. I have worked as an andrology clinical nurse practitioner in a busy specialist London hospital since 2009. I work with a team of five consultants, nine senior registrars, one other clinical nurse practitioner (CNP) and one clinical nurse specialist. My role covers both benign andrology, and penile and testicular cancer. I consider myself to be incredibly lucky to work alongside a fantastic team, and none of my achievements would have happened without their support or encouragement.
I was nominated for my services to andrology. I was responsible for establishing the first face-to-face penile and urethral cancer support group in the country. Penile and urethral cancer is extremely rare with approximately 600 cases in the UK every year. There is a lack of awareness of this cancer among the general population and health professionals themselves, with diagnosis often delayed because of this or because the patient is too embarrassed to seek help. Due to the rarity of the disease, and because it is not something that is widely talked about, I decided to set up a face-to-face support group inviting men diagnosed with and treated for this disease to attend.
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