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Meet Oncology Rehabilitation Nurse Rebecca Nolan

10 April 2018

Meet our caregivers Rehabilitation
Rebecca Nolan would be a familiar face for our patients who come to St John of God Frankston Rehabilitation Hospital for rehabilitation during and after cancer care. Rebecca shares her inspiration to become a nurse and what her daily role involves.

What does a typical day in your role involve?

Each day my role as an oncology rehabilitation coodinator varies from visiting patients on the wards, answering email enquiries, liaising with our allied health team, assessing new patients into the program, to marketing the oncology rehabilitation program, and coordinating the oncology rehab program.

We are also conducting a small research program on the effects of hydrotherapy on the cancer patients which means I currently have lots of data entry, proposal writing and interviews to complete.

Why did you decide to pursue a career in this field?

I knew I always wanted to help people and had an interest in health, so nursing seemed the most logical course to do. 

While studying midwifery at Monash, I worked at St John of God Frankston Rehabilitation Hospital as a nurse to support myself financially, it was that I realised I really enjoyed seeing patients improve. 

The hospital started getting more and more oncology patients who needed rehab and a rehab specific program wasn’t available for them to attend. In response to this, we started one of the first rehab programs specifically designed for the oncology patient, and the gratitude from the patients was amazing.  I felt very privileged to be a part of someone’s cancer journey, and the best part was seeing him or her improve their physical abilities as well as reducing their fatigue.

What do you like best about your job?

The most rewarding this about my job is seeing the improvement that patients see in themselves.

What has been a memorable moment working at St John of God Frankston Rehabilitation Hospital?

My most memorable moment working here has come through the opportunity to complete my Masters Thesis which was titled Can exercise and information session reduce cancer related fatigue. It has been a career highlight to be able to share my research results with my colleagues and see how this research has led to enhancements to our patient care.

On a personal note, my afternoon tea and all the beautiful gifts I received before commencing maternity leave really made me feel a part of the hospital family.

What do you like to do when you’re not working?

As a new mum, I do lots of mum things now when I’m not at work, but my husband and I like to fish (catching tuna and marlin) either to eat or tag and release.  I have a state record for a bluefin tuna, and I play badminton a couple of times a week.

St John of God Health Care
Rebecca Nolan - Oncology Rehabiliation Coordinator
Rebecca Nolan is a registered nurse at St John of God Frankstion Rehabilitation Hospital. Her current role is Oncology Rehabiliation Coordinator.  She completed her Master of Nursing in 2011 with her thesis researching “The effects that exercise can have on reducing cancer related fatigue.”.