“You see people going from crying every time they’d come in for an appointment to travelling the world and getting on with life – I’m still in contact with patients from over 20 years ago.
“I’ve been a stomal therapy nurse since 1990 and I worked as a nurse at Westmead Hospital from 1980 to 2001. Now I’m at Blacktown Hospital.
“Stomal therapy nursing is a type of specialist nurse who supports people who’ve had their bowel or bladder removed and have to have a bag. I do a lot of pre-op stuff, post-op counselling, and ongoing care.
“This job involves a lot of emotional help as well – getting the patient through the procedure and then getting their confidence up in managing and living life with such a huge change. Sometimes it can be emergency surgery or sometimes it can be planned, but it can impact people of all ages and for many reasons.
“Some of my clients I’ve known for many, many years. They see me in hospital, and then they have my work phone to contact me, and they can see me as many times as they need as an outpatient. It’s a nice side of nursing because you really get to know the patients.
“My favourite part of the job is that connection and helping people – that’s what you do nursing for.”
Humans of the Hospital: Lesley Jack.
Lesley is a Clinical Nurse Consultant, Stomal Therapy/Wound Care at Blacktown Hospital.
‘Humans of the Hospital’ is dedicated to the inspiring humans working at Westmead, Blacktown, Mount Druitt Auburn and Cumberland hospitals in western Sydney.