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Celebrating International Nurses Day

Nurse Counsellor Chrissy Woodcock.

International Nurses Day is celebrated worldwide every 12 May, the anniversary of Florence Nightingale's birth, to mark the contributions that nurses make to society. 

Chrissy Woodcock is one of BreastScreen Victoria's Nurse Counsellors. What does a nurse counsellor do? 

"I talk about boobs a lot," Chrissy jokes. "More seriously, it's about health promotion. It's about inspiring women to empower themselves and do their best for their health. Nurse counsellors are advocates. We're educators. We're talkers. We're empathetic." 

It's about reading people, Chrissy says, because every client is unique.

We recall a client because the radiologists have seen something on their breast screen that needs further investigating. Most women called back for further tests do not have breast cancer. 

Chrissy and the rest of the team at Bendigo BreastScreen work hard to ensure the client understands consent and is informed about everything that's happening. They also aim to maintain a calm environment. Nurse counsellors assist clients through more tests such as extra mammograms, an ultrasound, or a biopsy. They also speak with those who have been diagnosed with breast cancer.

A small number of women will be diagnosed with breast cancer following assessment. If this happens, you will meet with the doctor and nurse counsellor, who will discuss the findings and explain what will happen next. Chrissy wants to ensure every client leaves with a plan and the information they need. It's hard work but also rewarding. 

"I love meeting such strong women," Chrissy says. "This job teaches me something every day, and I like to think that I give a little piece of myself to the clients. I love to give them a little bit of hope and a little bit of my positivity, even if it's just for the minutes that she's in this room with me." 

Thank you to Chrissy and all the Nurse Counsellors at BreastScreen Victoria for your fantastic work.