" I don’t think I ever considered nursing until I got diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2010 and was treated by the Peter Mac team. I think the care that I received and seeing how passionate, supportive and kind they were, inspired me to want to give back to others and make a difference. "
MAY 2022: MONA TURKER - WARD 5A NURSE, HAEMATOLOGY WARD
I was born in Bosnia and spent the first 10 or so years of my life there before having to leave due to the Balkan war. I then lived Croatia and Germany for a few years before coming to Australia as a refugee and making it my home. I was brought up by my grandparents until I moved in with my mum around the age of 10. That may seem strange to others but for us it worked very well. Everyone overseas was very close and we were always able to see each other, however after the war everyone got thrown around. I unfortunately don’t get to see the rest of my family as much as I would like to as Europe is a long way from home. I remember my childhood prior to the war as very picturesque and perfect, and I am lucky to have the best memories from that part of my life.
I have been married since 2013 and just over 15 months ago we were blessed with a little baby girl who I love and adore. She is pretty much what my world revolves around these days and I absolutely don’t mind!
I don’t think I ever considered nursing until I got diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2010 and was treated by the Peter Mac team. I think the care that I received and seeing how passionate, supportive and kind they were, really inspired me to want to give back to others and make a difference. I think my biggest inspiration was the Nurse Consultant who looked after me directly and really helped me get through some of the toughest times of my treatment. She always made herself available and was a great advocate for my care.
In 2018, I completed a Bachelor of Nursing at Monash University. I began as a Graduate Nurse at Peter Mac in 2019 and am now working on the wonderful ward 5A which specialises in Haematology. In 2020, I returned to study to complete the Post Graduate Certificate in Cancer Nursing at Melbourne University.
For me it was my personal experiences that led me to oncology and then once I started working at Peter Mac and understanding what it all means and involves, it drove my passion further.
At the time of my diagnosis, I had a very close girlfriend who also got diagnosed with a type of cancer called sarcoma and unfortunately, she died a couple of years later. Losing her really made me even more driven to keep going with oncology and to hopefully see improvements in treatments and outcomes. I think a part of me wanted to make her proud.
" I am really passionate about Haematology. I love working on 5A as the team is really patient focused, supportive of each other and share the same values. "
We have excellent communication skills and are great patient advocates as we spend most of our time at the bedside. We are all trained and supported by experienced and extremely knowledgeable senior nurses who are always happy to teach us. Haematology nurses have excellent assessment and critical thinking skills, as majority of our patients are immunocompromised and require quick thinking. Our care has a very high level of compassion and empathy and I am so proud to be a part of this wonderful team.
My hopes for the future are to make a difference in my patients lives and to have a positive impact on their cancer journey. When it comes to my career, I am soon moving into research and clinical trials where I hope to see the future of cancer treatments and the flow over effect on the wards and in patient outcomes.
I am so proud to see Peter Mac on the right track in meeting patient needs at the various stages of our patient’s cancer journey. My hopes are for all patients to have access to just as many resources post treatment, because although their treatment may have finished, their post cancer journey continues for life.