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Sister Laura Tan

Senior Nurse Educator, VIVA-University Children’s Cancer Centre (VUC³)

Most people still have the perception that the role of a nurse is limited to just caring for patients at their bedside. The challenge of being a nurse goes beyond that.

As a senior nurse educator, I work with each stakeholder in the young cancer patient’s journey. In addition to caring for children with cancer, I support the nursing team in education and training. I facilitate and teach a few courses, including a course on paediatric nursing oncology. When a child is diagnosed with cancer, the whole family is affected. As nurses, we are advocates for the family. We work with the care team and always try to balance the child’s difficulties in coping and the family’s concern. Part of my role also involves training nurses in the necessary skills to support the entire family through the storm of emotional and financial turmoil, especially when young patients had to stop treatment due to financial difficulties.

It is an amazing opportunity to be part of VIVA’s paediatric oncology care team. As nurses, we spend the most time at the child’s bedside. Our observations, care and assessment form the basis on which clinical decisions are made by the rest of the team. Due to our multidisciplinary approach, we work hand-in-hand with each member of our team to deliver the best care to our young patients at the VIVA-University Children’s Cancer Centre.

I am glad to be part of VIVA’s mission to help children with cancer and its continued support through various initiatives in educating nurses to provide better care. The VIVA Asia Nursing Symposium is one such initiative. It provides a platform for nurses from Singapore and regional countries such as Australia, Indonesia and Vietnam, to integrate, share and review practices in paediatric oncology.

Helping children with cancer through my various roles for the past several years allowed me to grow as a person, a caregiver and an educator. Let us work towards the future of ensuring the best nursing care for children with cancer.

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Our observations, care and assessment form the basis on which clinical decisions are made by the rest of the team.

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Dr Sally Blair

Member of Organising Committee, St. Jude-VIVA Forum 

I am heartened to see how the St Jude-VIVA Forum has grown and evolved over the past 10 years to now involve nurses, patients and their families. All these could not have been possible without the contributions of the speakers, the participation of the delegates and the visionary guidance of the organising committee.

The Forum presents cutting-edge research to inspire our regional delegates on the next steps forward in treating children with cancer. Delegates can learn from each other and collaborate on common projects or research topics through interactive sessions at the Forum.

As a physician-scientist, the Forum has allowed me to learn so much from experts around the world. I am in awe of the work being done in Singapore, internationally and in regional developing countries where care and research for children with cancer still face significant challenges.