Oncology nurse: “It’s a challenging job but I absolutely love it!”

Nurse Sarah-Jane Thomson wins Remarkable Person prize at Live Better With’s Spotlight Awards

Oncology nurse sarah-jane
Nurse Sarah-Jane Thomson

A kind and caring nurse from Glasgow has been awarded one of our Remarkable Person prizes at the inaugural Spotlight Awards by Live Better With.

Sarah-Jane Thomson is a nurse specialist and has worked at The Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre in Glasgow for more than a decade.

We spoke to Sarah-Jane to find out more about what her role involves and how she feels to be a Spotlight Award winner:

Sarah-Jane Thomson is one of five winners of the Remarkable Person prize at the inaugural Spotlight Awards by Live Better With.

“I am absolutely blown away,” said Thomson, who is a nurse specialist at The Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre in Glasgow. “I don’t do this job for thanks or praise. It’s just so very special to have made such a difference to someone that they wanted to nominate me for such a thing. I’m absolutely over the moon.”

Since qualifying as a nurse over 11 years ago, the 33-year-old has worked at The Beatson. “I think it’s a very special place to work and I ABSOLUTELY love my job. It’s a fantastic place to work – the patients are amazing. The things they have to go through – honestly – I take my hat off to each and every one of them.”

The Beatson provides all the radiotherapy, and much of the chemotherapy, for patients with cancer in Scotland’s west. They also offer their service and care to 60% of Scotland’s population – 2.8 million people.

Thomson was nominated for the award by the wife of one of her patients for her “dedication” and “support.”

But how does the nurse stay calm and supportive in such a harrowing environment each day?

“This is the way I look at it,” explains Thomson, who started her career as a staff nurse and then a deputy charge nurse before moving up the ranks to become a nurse specialist.

“I think a good philosophy to work by is to ‘treat every patient like they’re your mum, your dad, your aunty, your uncle, your gran, your grandad’. Treat them like that, speak to them like that treat them with that respect because, at the end of the day, that person is somebody’s mum, somebody’s dad, somebody’s aunt or somebody’s uncle. And that’s the way you would want your family to be treated. And it is a challenging job.

“You do genuinely care about the patients but there has to be a line between getting too emotionally attached to them. You do have to genuinely care, if you didn’t care, you shouldn’t be allowed to work in a place like that.”

oncology nurse sarah-jane winner

The first of its kind, the Spotlight Awards shine a light on the achievements of truly remarkable people, products, and services in the cancer community. Nominated by the public, and voted by a panel of expert judges, the winners are from all walks of life, of all ages, and from across the world.

The Spotlight Awards have been organised by Live Better With, an award-winning online platform where cancer patients and their loved ones can find products and information to help with the symptoms and side effects of living with cancer.

See the full list of Spotlight Award winners here.

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