Breast Cancer Awareness Month Profile: Donna Preater, RN, Screen For Life Coach

Donna Preater, a Registered Nurse on the Screen for Life Coach.

It’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and we’re highlighting staff at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre who play a vital role in the breast cancer journey. From cancer screening to cancer treatment, there are hundreds of caring professionals that you will meet along the way. Today, we’re sharing a Q & A from Donna Preater, a Registered Nurse on the Screen for Life Coach.

Describe your role for us.

I am a Registered Nurse (RN). My role is to perform Pap tests for cervical cancer screening and to assess if clients qualify for colon cancer screening. If the client is eligible, I will write a requisition for them to receive a FIT kit in the mail. I work on the Screen For Life Coach that travels across Northwestern Ontario as part of a two person team. I also have my DZ license and get to drive the Coach!

What does it take to be an RN on the Screen For Life Coach?

An RN diploma or degree is required for this position. Along with the required schooling, it is important to have compassion and a passion for working with our region’s population – many are underserved/never served and may struggle to access health care services. Finally, I would say it takes a listening ear. There are times when people arrive on the Coach for their appointment and have had difficult encounters with the health system. We can often do little but listen and somehow that seems to help.

What is unique about your role?

There are two mobile cancer screening coaches in Ontario and only one in Northwestern Ontario. It is a unique role and I love it.

What inspired you to work in Cancer Care?

Rates of cancer are higher in our region than the rest of Ontario. I want those that are eligible for screening to get screened so that cancer can be found early, when it is easier to treat. Thanks to the Coach, we can reach smaller communities that may not have screening services in their area. The Coach is welcomed and appreciated in each of the communities we visit and that is a great feeling.

How does your role impact patient care?

We bring cancer screening to where people live. We are kind, caring, efficient and proficient in our professions.

Any final thoughts?

Our Coach has received a lot of positive feedback. There is no wait, no parking fees, quick service, kindness and maybe even a chuckle. It makes for an awesome place to be screened but also to work as a career RN.