May is Oncology Nursing Month, making it the perfect time to highlight
the caregivers who help people navigate one of the most challenging times
of their lives - a cancer diagnosis.
Oncology nurses are healthcare professionals who are specially trained
to administer chemotherapy and radiation treatments. They are also responsible
for monitoring cancer patients’ vital signs and overall well-being,
helping them manage pain and lessen side effects as they undergo treatment.
But that’s not all they do. Oncology nurses play three lesser known,
but very important, roles in the life of a cancer patient.
Oncology nurses are teachers. Oncology nurses are experts when it comes to cancer and cancer treatments.
They help the patient and his or her family understand the disease. They
explain the treatment process. They use their clinical knowledge and technical
expertise to ensure the patient understands what is happening with their
body in every stage of treatment.
Oncology nurses are counselors. In addition to addressing the physical needs of their patients, oncology
nurses care for their patients’ emotional well-being. They listen
to their concerns. They ask questions. Based on what they hear, they are
able to connect patients to resources outside the hospital that can help
with the mental, financial, and family-related stress that comes along
with a cancer diagnosis.
Oncology nurses are friends. Over time, oncology nurses and the patients they serve develop a close
relationship. They celebrate milestones, birthdays, and holidays together.
They also mourn setbacks and losses. In the end, nurses form an attachment
to their patients that cannot be described in any other way than “friendship.”
Things are no different at CVMC, where our staff of highly-trained and
experienced oncology nurses work to ensure the best quality of life and
care for each patient. Cancer Resource Nurses and Dedicated Nurse Navigators
support and educate cancer patients and their families about the disease,
walk them through treatment, and connect them to support groups and other
local community resources.
As a profession, nursing is considered both one of the most challenging
and rewarding. In addition to being highly trained, an oncology nurse
must also be able to connect with his or her patients and build trust.
In other words, it takes a uniquely-qualified individual to do the job
and do it well… and CVMC has a staff full of them.
For more information, visit
Catawba Valley Medical Center’s Comprehensive Community Cancer Center.