Member Spotlight #4 – Susanne Odberger Kelly
Name: Susanne Odberger Kelly
Current role: Cancer Support Nurse (Gary Kelly Centre)
Tell us about your work
I work in the Gary Kelly Cancer Support Centre, a lovely community-based centre in Drogheda. We provide emotional, psychological, social, and practical support to adult clients who are diagnosed with cancer. We also support their families and friends.
In my role as a Cancer Support Nurse, I meet with clients with all types of cancer diagnoses, in different stages of their cancer journey. Active listening is a big part of what I do, especially at the initial assessment when the client come in to see me for the first time. I let the client share their story and try to identify where they need support, then put up an individual support plan based on a holistic approach. All clients are different, and everyone’s story is unique. For many clients it is a big step to reach out to us and they may find their first visit quite emotional.
Our goal is to enhance the quality of life for our clients throughout their cancer experience and offer survivorship programmes that focus on life after cancer. In the centre I provide guidance and education in a relaxed environment where the clients have time to process what has been said. I would also host regular support groups, exercise classes and arrange relevant speakers to come to the centre. I have a personal interest in how cancer and treatment change the clients’ view of themselves, both physically and psychologically, and the impact cancer has on close relationships. I think this is something we do not speak enough about.
I am grateful to work closely with Morag (nurse manager) who has vast experience within oncology nursing, and other compassionate and hardworking members of the Gary Kelly team.
What is something you are proud of in your career?
I am not sure if I have a particular thing that I am proud about, but I am generally incredibly proud of being a nurse. It is a tough role at times, but we, as nurses, are privileged to stand by our patients in what can sometimes be the most challenging time of their lives. I think nursing is the most amazing job in the world and I could not think of any other job that would be as fulfilling and rewarding.
What is something (a fun fact) that your work colleagues might not know about you?
I love animals, and I usually have 15-20 pets at home at any one time! I find pets very therapeutic and have always dreamed about setting up a pet farm for people with disabilities and long-term illnesses.
What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
Spending time with my family is my number one priority. I also love travelling, seeing friends, yoga and enjoying nature. Life is precious, and I want to make the most of every moment!