Looking back at the phenomenal effort Griffith contributes every year during Pink Up month, it’s no wonder Sandra Royal feels a surge of pride.
As the first McGrath Breast Care nurse working in the MIA, Mrs Royal has roots which have been planted firmly in the region since birth.
“I love Griffith – and I have also been incredibly lucky to have received the opportunities that I have had in health care,” Mr Royal said.
Now working as the Clinical Operations Manager for the Community Care Griffith Network, she says she has become “ingrained” within the health scene.
But not only Griffith – Mrs Royal has become a familiar face across Leeton, Hillston, West Wyalong, Narrandera and Lake Cargelligo.
Working at Griffith Base Hospital as a women’s health nurse, she then became the first McGrath Breast Care Nurse in 2009 – a position she held for three years.
And now you just have to see what Griffith does during October to know it is still hugely valued.Sandra Royal
She was impressed by the initiative, because rural communities are so far removed from similar support services in metropolitan areas.
‘It was so embraced by the community then,” she reflects.
“And now you just have to see what Griffith does during October to know it is still hugely valued.”
From there, going into leadership positions was the next challenge she ticked off her list.
Her work now sees her provide support to clinicians, providing the education, support and links with community services to help patients receive their care from home instead of a hospital.
She helps by providing support to community care nurses in a leadership position, helped along by her own first hand clinical background.
Despite the tyranny of distance, which she says can be challenging, there is the technology to enable support from afar.
“The most rewarding thing is having a great team of clinicians in all of the communities,” she says.
Caring for patients with diabetes, chronic disease, breast cancer among others, one of the most rewarding is the palliative care patients.
“Palliative care is one of the biggest areas where you find you make a difference in people lives, and to be able to support clinicians to do that in the community in extremely rewarding.”
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