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A red electrocardiogram
A red electrocardiogram
A red electrocardiogram

Interview with Matt Fowler about oncology and haematology

Scott Lister talks to Matt Fowler about his current practice and his role as an advanced nurse practitioner (oncology and haematology)

Scott – Matt, what is your current clinical role?

Matt – I currently work as an Advanced Nurse Practitioner in Oncology and Haematology. I have worked at a senior level (Band 7 and above) within oncology, haematology and bone marrow transplant for over 8 years now amassing a wealth of clinical, managerial and academic experience.

Scott – what do you enjoy about your current clinical role?

Matt – I particularly enjoy my current role due to the level of autonomy and advanced clinical decision making skills I utilise on a daily basis. I care for cancer patients throughout all aspects of the illness trajectory including:

  • pre-diagnosis,

  • chemotherapy counselling,

  • pre-treatment consultations,

  • administration of cytotoxic chemotherapy and supportive products,

  • management of cancer patients when they present as an emergency due to treatment toxicities/side effects,

  • end of life treatment consultations

Scott – what are your expertise?

Matt – I am an expert within the field of chemotherapy administration and in particular the devices utilised to administer chemotherapy in order to minimise complications such as extravasation. I am an advanced Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter (PICC) placer using ultrasound and ECG to confirm lines are placed correctly.

I am a non-medical prescriber and prescribe chemotherapy for all types of cancers. My particular areas of expertise are uro-oncology (including management of late effects of radiotherapy) colorectal oncology and bone marrow transplant nursing. As an experienced practitioner who has been administering chemotherapy since the late 1990s I have amassed a wealth of expertise and knowledge of chemotherapy in all tumour sites as well.

Scott – where did you undertake your specialist training?

Matt – Having initially completed my specialist cancer nursing training at the Royal Marsden in London I have continued to develop academically and am currently undertaking specialist training at Warwick Medical School in order to gain more in depth understanding of interpreting diagnostic results. I am also nearing completion of my MSc in nursing and will be looking to complete my PhD in the not too distant future.

Scott – what medico-legal experience do you have?

Matt – As a senior nurse I have a wealth of experience at managing complex situations both clinically and professionally. I have conducted disciplinary hearings, completed SUI investigations as well as functioned as a lead practitioner for clinical governance ensuring that any deviations in practice were appropriately risk assessed and actioned. I am articulate at report writing, and have extremely high standards of documentation to reflect the high standards of care I deliver on a daily basis.

Scott – it must be very difficult practising as a nurse in your specialist area? Is it rewarding? Do you enjoy it?

Matt – I feel very privileged to practice in my chosen speciality. I work with patients and their loved ones at various stages of the cancer journey and never underestimate how difficult this can be for individuals or their significant others. No two days are the same for me and I particularly enjoy the variety that my role brings; I also particularly enjoy coaching and developing new nurses to the speciality into expert practitioners.


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