A job in oncology nursing is both stressful and rewarding—whether you have been working in the profession for 10 days or 10 years. We recently asked our readers and cancer survivors what advice they would give to new oncology nurses. What follows is just some of the advice shared.
"Always remember that you are caring for the whole family. They, too, are suffering."
"Take the time to explain each medication, what it is for, how it might affect [patients]. Encourage patients to take advantage of palliative measures and not suffer needlessly."
"Being able to create a connection with your patients is important. I’m a relatively young cancer patient, and I remember the nurses who have conversations with me and are generally interested in how I’m doing. I keep up with all my favorites!"
– Current patient
"Show an interest in their life outside of their illness. Ask about their ambitions and what they enjoy. Befriend them. Understand that everyone is different and that some patients might not want to chat. Don’t take it personally. Stay upbeat. And learn the side effects of each drug given.”
– Ethan, cancer survivor
"Having the ability to leave home at home and work at work is important. We all have a lot on our plates, but our patients with cancer expect us to walk into their room with a smile and ask about their life. It’s not only about meds and chemo!”
– Hamza Abid, clinical nurse specialist
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