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Champalimaud Clinical Centre (CCC)

Person responsible for CTC programme: Alexandra Belchior, Nursing Director

Hospital overview

The Champalimaud Clinical Centre (CCC) is a state-of-the-art centre for science, medicine and technology, belonging to the Champalimaud Foundation. The CCC hosts a clinical facility for integrated treatment of oncologic and neuropsychiatric diseases, translational research activities and advanced programmes of medical education. The CCC is fully equipped to offer the latest techniques and methods in the diagnosis and treatment of cancers of the breast, gynaecological, thoracic, genito-urinary malignancies and digestive tract. Our exerienced physicians and scientists work together in multidisciplinary Disease Management Teams to bring all available knowledge and techniques to bear in the provision of personalised, patient-oriented medicine. Risk assessment and early diagnosis of disease is a primary concern of all units.

The CCC also includes a Neuropsychiatry Unit which provides care in this area as well as working closely with the Champalimaud Neuroscience Programme to ensure that this work fits the Foundation's translational model of medical science.

All of the Champalimaud Foundation's medical faculty are involved in research projects.

CTC programmes offered

1. Breast Unit

Programme mentor: Alexandra Belchior
Duration: 2 - 4 weeks for observership, 4 to 8 weeks for residency
Observership or Residency: Both
Language requirements: intermediate level of English is required for Observership, spoken Portuguese & intermediate level of English for Residency
Further requirements To be considered applicants are required to:
  • To be a registered nurse working in an oncology care in Europe
  • To be an EONS member, either through their National Society, or as an individual member.
Evaluation For Fellowship is required to delivery/ provide a paper or research project.
Programme description

The Champalimaud Breast Unit investigates and works daily to improve the burden of breast cancer - the most common form of cancer in women and one of the principal causes of oncologic death, with around 1500 mortalities per annum in Portugal and about half a million deaths annually worldwide.

Multidisciplinary meetings are held every week in the Breast Unit for treatment decisions, and consultations are shared between specialties whenever necessary. In the multidisciplinary meetings, besides the members of the Breast Unit, which include breast medical oncologists, breast surgeons, plastic surgeons, breast radiation oncologists, breast radiologists, breast pathologists and specialized nurses, we also count with the participation and of nuclear medicine specialists, psycho- oncologists, palliative care specialists and geneticists.

All members of the Unit are experts in the diagnosis and treatment of breast diseases.
The Breast Unit team is committed to achieving the best outcomes for its patients in the various possibilities of diagnosis and treatment, while simultaneously striving to ensure high quality of life, respect for patients’ preferences and the very best standard of care. It is our belief that breakthroughs are achieved through clinical and translational research combined with outstanding medical care which follows international directives. All treatments and second opinions are based on scientific evidence, with various clinical trials currently underway and others due to open shortly.

Work structure
Clinical: Our Breast Unit is considered a reference centre in Portugal and abroad, frequently sought for primary and advanced breast cancer treatments and second opinions. It is BCC-Eusoma certified since 2016. There are several out-patient clinics during the week, and one multidisciplinary meeting with the presence of all specialties involved in breast cancer care.

Medical oncologists are exclusively dedicated to Breast Cancer, both early and advanced settings, with a special emphasis in the treatment of advanced breast cancer, breast cancer during pregnancy, breast cancer in young women and in male patients.

Surgery for Breast Cancer is undertaken by dedicated breast and plastic surgeons; members of the surgical team work together applying the concept of oncoplastic surgery to all patients. Our Unit is considered a Level 3 Oncoplastic Unit, performing more than 50 breast reconstructions/year, using all the available techniques including microsurgery.

Radiotherapy is undertaken under the supervision of dedicated breast radiation oncologists using the most recent techniques and equipment tailored to patient’s needs. Breast Imaging is provided by dedicated breast radiologists, with all major breast imaging and biopsy
techniques available.

Breast Nurses provide a clinical and psychosocial support to patients from diagnosis and during all stages of breast cancer disease, until end of life.

Major investment areas:
- Education about breast cancer, symptoms and treatment toxicities management
- Distress evaluation and emotional support
- Nursing consultation previous to treatment with chemotherapy, endocrine and targeted therapy.
- Nurse consultation prior to surgical treatment
- Follow-up after chemotherapy treatment
- Follow-up after surgical discharge
- Follow-up of metastatic disease
- Wound management
- Collaboration in clinical trials
- Referral to other members of the multidisciplinary team
- 24 hour phone triage situations related to the disease and treatment
- The fellow will be under the direct supervision of Nurse Susana Pedro and will accompany one of the Breast Unit nurses in her daily work

2. Day Hospital

Programme mentor: Alexandra Belchior
Duration: 2 - 4 weeks for observership, 4 to 8 weeks for residency
Observership or Residency: Both
Language requirements: intermediate level of English is required for Observership, spoken Portuguese & intermediate level of English for Residency
  To be considered applicants are required to:
  • To be a registered nurse working in an oncology care in Europe
  • To be an EONS member, either through their National Society, or as an individual member.
Evaluation For Fellowship is required to delivery/ provide a paper or research project.
Programme description: The Day Hospital offers state-of-the-art chemotherapy technology for patients with cancer, receiving chemotherapy and related treatments, including targeted therapy, endocrine therapy, immunotherapy and transfusion therapy. On a daily basis between fifty and seventy patients are treated. Also provides a supportive environment characterized not only by the therapeutic relationship developed in each contact between nurses and patients, but also by the direct view overlooking a surrounding garden which gives a sense of calm and beauty.
The Champalimaud Centre Day Hospital Unit works daily to reduce the impact of treatments on patients’ day to day life, and is committed to support patient throughout the treatment journey, striving to help achieving good quality of life. With the scientific knowledge, staff nurses administer treatments, safely with minimal discomfort.

Staff nurses provide a high level of care, based on each individual centred care by assessing, planning, delivering and evaluating the care according to the patients’ values, beliefs, preferences and knowledge. Nurses are part of the multidisciplinary team, supporting patients in choices about treatment and care, empowering them to self-manage their condition. Nurses are all actively involved in clinical trials, as well as in patient/family education, with a nursing meeting prior to the first treatment and continuity throughout the treatment. A 24hour telephone triage service for situations related to the treatment, and or underlying disease is provided.

Each year the team establishes a training plan with which all are committed. In this plan, improvement of care projects can be defined based on evidence and always in line with the high standards required by the institution.

Work structure
Clinical:
There are 7 nurses, three nurse assistants and one secretary, per day in the Day Unit. The unit treats patients from Monday to Friday. Half of the nursing team of the Unit are designated specialist nurses in oncology care.

Major investment areas:
- Administration of chemotherapy, targeted therapy, endocrine therapy, immunotherapy and transfusion therapy
- Patient/family education on symptoms and management of treatment toxicities
- Nurse consultation prior to the first treatment with chemotherapy or immunotherapy
- Follow-up after first chemotherapy/immunotherapy treatment
- 24hour phone triage situations related to the treatment, and/or underlying disease
- Collaboration in clinical trials
- Referral to others members of the multidisciplinary team
- The fellow will be under the direct supervision of Nurse Emilia Rito and will accompany one of the Day Hospital nurses in his/her daily work

3. Radiotherapy

Programme mentor: Alexandra Belchior
Duration: 2 - 4 weeks for observership, 4 to 8 weeks for residency
Observership or Residency: Both
Language requirements: intermediate level of English is required for Observership, spoken Portuguese & intermediate level of English for Residency
Further requirements To be considered applicants are required to:
  • To be a registered nurse working in an oncology care in Europe
  • To be an EONS member, either through their National Society, or as an individual member.
Evaluation For Fellowship is required to delivery/ provide a paper or research project.
Programme description: The Radiotherapy Unit of the Champalimaud Clinical Centre is recognized for using advanced equipment and techniques in this therapeutic option, being the pioneer in the approach of certain radiotherapy techniques in breast, prostatic, pulmonary, hepatic and rectal/anal canal areas.
In these indications radiotherapy may have curative, adjuvant, neoadjuvant or palliative purposes. To this end, it counts on the intervention of a multidisciplinary team that includes a radiation oncologist, nurses, radiation therapists, physicists and dosimetrists, operational and administrative assistants, in order to provide a therapeutic path of excellence to the patient and his family.
Therefore, specialized and individualized nursing intervention is essential through the delivery of care to the person / family according to the emerging needs. Nursing as an active element of the multidisciplinary team has a structured intervention project that allows a more adequate follow- up to its population

Major investments areas:

The nursing intervention plan begins when the patient accepts the treatment proposal, and continued until post treatment and/or nursing discharge.
The main nursing interventions in the Radiotherapy Unit are:
- Nursing consultation to start radiotherapy treatment;
- Follow-up consultations (in person and and by telephone);
- Education about treatment, acute and late toxicity, procedures to be performed and monitoring to be carried out;
- Nursing support consultation;
- Care management/maintenance support;
- Implementation of technical procedures involved in treatments and needs;
- Collaboration in training and research.
- The fellow will be under the direct supervision of Nurse Elda Freitas and will accompany one of the Radiotherapy Department nurses in his/her daily work

 

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