February 4, 2022 is World Cancer Day, a global initiative led by the Union for International Cancer Control. Its goal is raising awareness, improving education, and inspiring action to prevent cancer deaths and provide equitable access to life-saving cancer treatment and care.
If you or a loved one has had cancer, you know that it’s a scary diagnosis. Oncology nurses are heroes who work with patients from the moment their journey begins. They help monitor their condition, administer treatments, and support the patient’s family and loved ones.
An Important Career
Nurses who specialize in oncology work in a variety of healthcare settings, such as hospitals, oncologists’ offices, outpatient chemotherapy and radiation centers, inpatient units, and intensive care units. Those who choose this field often find their work to be very rewarding, especially since they often form relationships with their patients.
Working with oncology patients can have its highs and lows. It can be uplifting to watch someone battle and overcome their disease. When a patient’s scans come back clear and the cancer is in remission, it can be a joyous occasion to hear a patient ring the bell that signals the end of their treatment.
There are sad moments, too. It can be difficult to watch patients struggle, especially if they’re very young. Oncology nurses must be strong and maintain a positive outlook when patients or their families feel that their hope is gone. It’s also important to understand that not every patient’s story will have a happy ending. Making someone comfortable during a difficult and painful period, however, can be very meaningful.
Oncology nurses need to be empathetic listeners who care about every patient’s wellbeing and journey. Many go into the field after a personal experience with cancer, such as if a family member was diagnosed.
Oncology nurses can specialize and earn various certifications in areas such as pediatric cancer, breast cancer, blood and marrow transplant, and advanced oncology. A typical day will vary depending on where the nurse works. For example, they may help doctors with exams, administer medication and chemotherapy, provide after-treatment monitoring and support, and educate family members on at-home care.
If caring for cancer patients sounds like a rewarding career, Fortis can help you get on the path with a great education. Click here for more information on our nursing programs or call us today at (855) 436-7847 and speak to one of our career counselors.