Written by Peter Barton, LCNS, who worked with Jackie
The role of the Lung Cancer Clinical Nurse Specialist can be vastly different between hospitals and trusts across the UK. But I’ve always believed that at the core of what we do, communication is our most valuable skill. For my colleague and friend Jackie Slevin, this came naturally. No matter if you lived in social housing in Wythenshawe or a mansion in Cheshire, she could find a common ground. It may have been something small or insignificant to some, but in acknowledging its importance you would see a patient let their guard down and open-up. They trusted her because she took the time to understand who they were, she saw the person and not just the diagnosis. Jackie moved from our Pulmonary Oncology Unit as a Staff Nurse and into her Band 6 Macmillan Lung Cancer CNS role. Those who knew and worked with her described this role as her dream job. Jackie’s knowledge of lung cancer and her skills not just in communication, but as an experienced nurse with a varied career, have helped mould others in our team because of the high standard of care she provided. And if your uniform wasn’t ironed, you would be told.
As nurses we speak often about the importance of our work/life balance. But how many of us turn this into action? Try to leave somewhere even close to home time? or book that holiday we’ve been dreaming of? Jackie did exactly that, she put it into action. The number of activities outside of work made my head spin, her passion for nutrition and the disapproving look of a second donut being consumed, the holiday destinations that became more elaborate and bizarre with each booking. All whilst being a mother of five children she was immensely proud of. Jackie shined brightly, she did it her way and will be sorely missed by those who had the privilege of knowing her. Rest in peace Jackie.