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Oncology Nurse is Your Best Friend During Cancer Treatment!

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Clinical Directorate

Oncology Nurse

Oncology Nurse is Your Best Friend During Cancer Treatment!

Dr. Ranga Rao
Medical Oncology, Oncology / Cancer Care
Medical Oncology, Oncology / Cancer Care
Director - Medical Oncology

Nurses have a heart of health care! They care because they want you to get back to life again. Full of compassion, love, and generosity, they are the ones behind and on the scenes, communicating and coordinating with doctors. 

For cancer patients, oncology nurses are their best friend during their most difficult and intimate moments. They are the ones who sit beside a patients’ bed educating and encouraging them about how to deal with this deadly disease. They are the healers, the helpers, the caregivers to patients, every time and everywhere.

Your oncology nurse has the capability to evoke a plethora of emotions when you discovered about the Big C. This can give you a sense of security as it makes you believe that there is someone available to hear what you are feeling.

Role of Oncology Nurse

You are most likely to spend time with your oncology nurse at the cancer center. As a part of a care giving team, you lean on nurses for providing you emotional support, information about chemotherapy and other treatments. Try to connect with your oncologist whenever it is necessary.  

They understand the concern of a New Cancer patient

  • Often faced with overwhelming anxiety, newly diagnosed cancer patients find themselves in distress. Nurses play a key role in alleviating their concerns and advise them to lead a better quality of life.
  • Nurses are comfortable with listening and discussing concerns of cancer patients, which might promote the patient’s psychological adaptation.

They Help Explain Treatment

  • If you feel bombarded and confused by clinical terms and drug names, thus making cancer diagnosis and treatment difficult to understand, nurses will patiently explain terms and also supply written materials to elaborate.
  • Before the first chemo treatment, the nurse can explain how it’s administered so you know exactly know what to expect, how it may feel, how long the treatment will take and how you can make the patient be made more comfortable.
  • If unpleasant side effects arise, the nurse will alert the oncologist, who can immediately alter dosages and prescribe medications to help relieve side effects the same day.

They Help You Manage Your Daily Life

  • You will suddenly feel that your life is full of questions and decisions as cancer treatment takes over your life. If you are wondering about your food intake, lifestyle, exercise, nurses can help you make adjustments. They also know when to escalate questions to the oncologist.
  • If you need help picking a wig, paying for cancer treatments, learning about makeup and skincare for cancer patients or finding support groups, your nurse is a treasure trove of that information.

They Address Your Questions and Concerns

  • Since the nurses wear so many hats daily, they have the knowledge and experience to address caregiver questions by phone or in person.
  • Nurses are great listeners and have plenty of encouraging stories about cancer patients and caregivers who went through similar situations and know how they handled it.

Don’t be afraid to ask your oncology nurse these questions:

  • How long does chemo take?
  • Are blood levels normal this morning?
  • Can you help us find a wig?
  • How many treatments are left?
  • Can he or she exercise during chemo? If so, how?
  • Can you help with nausea that hits by the weekend after each chemo treatment?
  • What should we do about a fever?
  • Can you help me find a support group?
  • Are pain and depression normal during cancer treatment?
  • What can we do about that metallic taste or mouth sores?

Don’t for the patient:

  • Do not ridicule a nurse. Their profession of human service is a very noble one.
  • Do not find a fault. Discuss with them if you feel something has gone wrong.
  • Do not fight with your nurse. Discuss with them

My nurse is moody, sometimes angry and does not talk much. What can be the reason?

Caring for cancer patients is very rewarding. It is a physically, mentally and emotionally demanding job. However, it may happen sometimes that because of the stresses and challenges, oncology nurses often experience physical and emotional burnout. Sometimes, the nurses have to deal with patients that require surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy, while the recovery patients may require physical therapy. These pressures can sometimes make her condition worse.

Love your nurse! She will always be with you in your toughest time.