"Bowel cancer patients have unique needs which aren’t just physical," said Bowel Care Nurse Katie Emanuelli, who supports bowel cancer patients and their families in the community of Shepparton.


"The disease can also result in psychological, social and emotional issues, which need to be well understood and considered by the health professionals delivering bowel cancer care."

Katie pursued a career working as a nurse because she wanted to make a difference.

“Today my goal is to support the many Australians diagnosed with bowel cancer, so that they get the best care and support they need,” said Katie.

Katie is well-experienced in the area of bowel cancer care but said there is always room to better understand the complex and diverse issues that accompany the disease.

“Undertaking the bowelcancer.care online learning modules has provided me with an opportunity to expand my professional knowledge and expertise in the area of bowel cancer care,” Katie said.

Bowelcancer.care is an accredited online learning platform developed by Bowel Cancer Australia to help nurses recognise the unique needs of bowel cancer patients, as well as enhance their communication skills so they can better support and empower their patients.

The modules provide nurses with an overview of bowel cancer as well as an understanding of the main physical, psychological, social and emotional issues specifically relevant to bowel cancer patients.

With a focus on the supportive care of bowel cancer patients, each module includes strategies for improving quality of life.

Despite being the third most commonly diagnosed cancer, Katie said bowel cancer patients don’t receive the same level of support that other common cancers do.

She hopes the new online course will help to change that, by assisting nurses working with bowel cancer patients throughout Australia in identifying issues early and by offering prompts for meaningful discussion.

“The course was practical, informative and easy to understand and I appreciated the way it started with the basics,” said Katie.

“I also liked the fact that the information was current and that there were links to further resources and training materials that support day-to-day practice,” Katie said.

“The modules encourage you to look at what works well and what needs to change when providing bowel cancer care, in addition to exploring alternative approaches and it provides an excellent foundation for informed practice and responding more holistically to bowel cancer within our communities.”

The free BowelCancer.Care online learning modules have been endorsed by the Australian College of Nursing and allocated 18 CPD hours and are available to help nurses, better support patients.

To register visit www.bowelcancer.care.