Scleroderma nurses play a vital role in the care and support of scleroderma patients. We must increase access to the specialist care they give.

Currently, Scleroderma Victoria is only able to fund Victorian clinic nurses. In the past, we have funded a scleroderma-specific nurse in Tasmania, but without more member support, we are unable to continue.

Scleroderma Victoria funds three nurses across Victoria, whose care is much valued by patients. People can experience a loss of independence due to their symptoms. Nurses provide support, advice and education on how to manage their care, including advice on wound care, clinical appointments and medical tests. In short, the specialist nurses make patients with this rare disease feel like they matter.

Another significant responsibility is to help with data collection and research to increase knowledge about scleroderma. Our hope and aim is to find a cure for scleroderma in the future.

They can also assist with practical matters, such as reducing the number of times a patient needs to come into the hospital by combining different appointments. This information helps with the ongoing improvement of treatments and healthcare available to scleroderma patients.

Emma Bavage is the Clinical Nurse Consultant in rheumatology at the Royal Hobart Hospital. Emma provides specialist nursing care in the scleroderma clinic in conjunction with Dr Jane Zochling and the rheumatology team.

Scleroderma Victoria hopes to fund specialist nurses like Emma in Tasmania again. We encourage people with scleroderma in Tasmania to become a member and help us facilitate the great work of the nurses at the Royal Hobart Hospital.

Scleroderma Victoria needs the support of people with scleroderma, their families and friends and the wider community to create awareness and support each other.

Find out more about Scleroderma Victoria specialist nurses here.

To become a Scleroderma member, click here.