Shining a light on our nurses and midwives: Charmaine Case
Charmaine Case has worked at St George’s for almost twenty years! She joined in 2000 as a Macmillan Breast Cancer Nurse Specialist, before moving into her current role, Clinical Nurse Specialist in Breast Screening, in 2015.
Last year, Charmaine was also appointed President of the Nurses Association of Jamaica (UK) – a non-profit organisation which fundraises for causes both in the UK and overseas, as well as supporting and mentoring new nurses.
You may also recognise Charmaine as one of the faces of Macmillan Cancer Support. She shared her story for their poster campaign in 2014 after a patient got in touch with the charity to tell them about the incredible support Charmaine had given them.
We caught up with her to find out more about her role at St George’s.
What does a typical day look like for you?
“If following a screening mammogram a patient requires further assessment, they will receive a letter asking them to come back.
“Women have the option to call and discuss with a Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) about why they have been called back, and my role is to explain the process and what will happen on the day. When they arrive, they will always be seen by a CNS first, and then by a clinician.
“When a woman is a given a cancer diagnosis, the CNS will talk them through what happens next, which usually involves referring them to a surgeon. We also provide written information for them to take home, including our contact details for any further questions or concerns.”
What difference do you make?
“My experience as a Macmillan Breast Cancer Nurse Specialist means I understand what patients go through and can give women the information they need to make informed decisions about their treatment and cancer journey.
“I’m also an advocate for patients and will do everything I can to make sure they feel supported, and to alleviate any stress or anxiety they may be feeling.”
What would you say to someone considering a career in nursing?
“I’ve loved being a nurse. There have been stressful times, but I’m still here! It’s a really diverse career and there are so many fields you can go into.
“One of the issues I think we have at the moment is that nurses aren’t seen as role models. We have some, including Molly Case – a cardiac nurse specialist at St George’s and author of How to Treat People – but we need more modern day role models to inspire our next generation of nurses.”
What do you enjoy about working at St George’s?
“I love working at St George’s. It’s the variety of people you meet here and everyone is so friendly. If you see someone that looks lost, you show them the way – it’s just part of being in the St George’s family! My team joke that we can’t go anywhere without someone knowing me!”