OUR PEOPLE | Judy Cornick
Prostate Cancer Specialist Nurse at Rockhampton Hospital, Rockhampton, Central Queensland

The most meaningful part of Judy’s job as a Prostate Cancer Specialist Nurse is knowing that she has provided supportive and coordinated care to the right person, in the right time, and at the right place.

For Judy it is a privilege to be part of the Prostate Cancer Specialist Nursing Program at PCFA. Her opportunity to join the team came through a combination of many years of nursing experience, a lengthy association with the Queensland Oncology Nurses Group and seven years as Cancer Care Coordinator at Rockhampton Hospital from 2007 - 2014.

“I recall having a special interest in patients with prostate cancer as far back as 2009. I first knew of the new Prostate Cancer Specialist Nursing roles in 2011 whilst completing the Prostate Nursing Care course and everything fell into place when Rockhampton Hospital had a successful submission to host a position and I was appointed in July 2014,” Judy says.

Judy’s biggest accomplishment in her career as a Prostate Cancer Specialist Nurse has been her presence and participation at the outreach urology clinics held at Rockhampton Hospital.

Without a permanent urologist on staff, her presence at these clinics is crucial. Judy provides a friendly, informative and supportive service to newly diagnosed men, their partners and families as they start dealing with prostate cancer – many of them return frequently to Rockhampton Hospital over the years.

“The visiting medical officers have all been highly supportive of myself and my role. It makes me happy and proud when a urologist will hold off seeing a patient in clinic until I am free to sit in at the patient's consult,” Judy says.

With her many years of experience, Judy knows the importance for nurses commencing their career to acknowledge their passion for caring for men with prostate cancer and their desire to provide supportive care. Continuous professional development and a “thirst for knowledge” are also critical for this profession.

“I would advise [to younger nurses] that their day may not always turn out as planned. A Prostate Cancer Specialist Nurse needs to be able to respond to whoever is at the end of the phone or presents to see you unexpectedly. They need to be good at problem-solving and have the ability to see the bigger picture and not to be put off by all the things that they may have to prioritise in a day. It's all done to make our patients able to keep going during this challenging time,” Judy says.

Did you know?

Music and water are two things that Judy loves – and it’s not that she sings in the shower like many of us do.

Judy has been practicing aqua aerobics for the past 5 years as she loves being in the water and more recently she joined a Sing Australia group and now she spends every Monday evening singing songs for 2 hours.

“It's very relaxing, even though some of the songs I'd never heard of and I'm not good on the high notes,” she says.