“Families are such an important part of a patient’s support and recovery.”
“I get great joy from seeing patients after recovery. They will come up to the unit months—even years—after their treatment to search us out, and it always creates a joyous commotion on the unit.”
“I find my center and peace in knowing that I provided my patients with the best care I could during such a difficult time.”
Oncology nursing is one of highs and lows. “As a nurse you are partially living the roller coaster along with them,” Jodi Shewczyk says. “I have celebrated with many patients as they have completed chemo, been put into remission, and been discharged to home. I have also experienced patients doing poorly or losing their battle with cancer.”
The job is about so much more than what’s in the textbooks. “It includes addressing patients’ medical, physical, emotional, social, and spiritual needs, as well as supporting their familial and interpersonal relationships.”
Often, upon discharge, an oncology nurse teaches a patient’s family how to nurse. “This involves extensive education—on medications and procedures, on care of central lines, on drains and wounds.” In oncology, when you’re a nurse, you’re family.
These 49 finalists, combined with the 13 award winners, represent the top 25 percent of nurses nominated this year.