Nurses Make a Huge Impact on Cancer Care, Says Former NHL Referee

Oncology nurses brightened the mood of Kerry Fraser's first oncology appointment.

Oncology nurses, who are often the first people that patients with cancer see when they come in for treatment, can have a huge impact on the outlook that patients have, according to Kerry Fraser, a former National Hockey League (NHL) referee who was diagnosed with essential thrombocythemia about 2 years ago.


It's really important for the oncology nurses to learn and know, and they already know it. But from a patient's perspective, that very first visit to the cancer clinic, I saw people in the waiting room with no hair, kerchiefs, bandanas gone, really struggling. And it can cause a new patient to feel a lack of hope and to sort of envision, "Is that where I'm headed?"

Out bounced a bubbly oncology nurse. "Kerry Fraser?" [she said] "Hey! How are you doing today? And Mrs. Fraser?" And she was so upbeat. It just lifted everything up internally. I bounced along with her. I took on her attitude in that one moment where I left all of the other patients sitting in chairs, and some in wheelchairs.

It was an important thing. The first person that I was in contact with for treatment or follow-up diagnosis was this bubbly, happy, compassionate, friendly nurse.

Keep up the good work, ladies and gentlemen, because it's really important from a patient perspective what you provide.

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