Fostering wellness for our cancer patients

Tuesday, February 11, 2020 cancer services
Fostering wellness for our cancer patients Jenna's interest in caring for cancer patients stemmed from accompanying her grandfather to his cancer treatment appointments.
Jenna Sing has become the first Wellness Coordinator for the Cancer Centre at Bendigo Health.

As a youngster, Jenna Sing accompanied her grandfather to his oncology appointments. She admired the nurses treating him and was drawn to their positive attitudes. It was then she made the decision to change her VCE subjects so she could study nursing.

Jenna’s career at Bendigo Health started just under a decade ago. She describes this time as a rewarding experience.

“You’re there for a person in their toughest time. As a nurse you get to know the patients really well - I would call a lot of my patients my friend,” she said.

In January, Jenna started a new position at Bendigo Health as the Wellness Coordinator for the Cancer Centre. The role has been created to focus on cancer patients’ all-round wellbeing, particularly their mental health.

In her nursing role, Jenna would create fun and light hearted activities for patients, such as decorating a patient’s chair on their birthdays or setting up a table and chairs for a ‘date’ on a patient’s wedding anniversary.

Jenna’s enthusiastic attitude is what makes her perfect for the Wellness Coordinator role.

Having empathy and being positive are key attributes to have when working with cancer patients, Jenna said.

“I felt my personality fit the role, and when that happens you know you’re never going to work a day in your life – I look forward to coming to work,” she said.

Yoga, meditation and oncology massage are some of the activities available to cancer patients when the program officially kicks off in April.

Jenna said she is looking forward to the program beginning and can’t wait to see the difference it will make in patient health.  

“It’s great to be able to look after patients’ social, emotional and spiritual health, which can often be overlooked,” she said.

The Wellness Coordinator position was made possible thanks to donations made to Dry July in 2019. An Arts and Music Project Volunteer Coordinator has also been appointed to work alongside Jenna to enhance patient wellbeing.

For more information about the Wellness Program, please email [email protected].