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Mary Gullatte, PhD, RN, APRN, BC, AOCN®, FAAN, associate chief nursing officer, Emory University Hospital Midtown, president, Oncology Nursing Society, explains the impact that oncology nurses have on the lives of both patients and their families.
When a patient is first diagnosed with cancer they experience multiple feelings and emotions. The nurse is able to work with the patient, to encourage them, and to give them hope. Nurses can do this through providing the patient with a treatment plan, expectations, and education on how to live with cancer.
Gullatte reminds nurses that physically being available to encourage and care for a patient makes a huge difference in their life. Simply holding a patient’s hand is something that often cannot be replaced, even in the age of technology.