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The Many Ways That Nurses Can Help Cancer Patients



Nurses are truly incredible individuals. They are willing to handle all of the medical problems that most other people are too afraid to expose themselves to. From nurses that work directly with doctors in private practices to those that work in the emergency rooms of hospitals, these are people that deal with everything from acute to chronic illnesses and everything in between. Though the job is not always glamorous, no one can deny the positive impact that nurses make upon patients and their families.

Below are some of the many ways in which nurses working in the oncology ward of a medical center or hospital can really make a difference in the treatment of cancer patients every day.

Oncology Nurses and the Difference They Make

Oncology nurses have to be able to readily recognize signs of distress in a patient and address them immediately, whether the patient is suffering from an emotional trauma regarding the disease state or he or she is suffering from an adverse physical side effect or a complication of the disease. While administering medications, these nurses need to know the signs to look out for if the medications have an adverse effect on the patient. And they are there in the event of an emergency to get the patient stable.

Treatments That Oncology Nurses Administer

Oncology nurses are there to administer every type of chemotherapy drug, oral medication, injections, etc. that a cancer patient needs to receive. And because each cancer patient is different and there are so many different cancer drugs, these nurses need to be well versed in everything from how to properly administer the drugs to their side effects.

Oncology Nurses Provide a Much-Needed Friendly Smile

For cancer patients, nurses may be the only people that they can really confide in and find comfort in. Many oncologists have to maintain a firm, sometimes even cold, demeanor. Therefore, nurses are there to assure cancer patients that everything will be okay, and they can also be available to clarify questions.

After having to deal with oncologists who can be quite stern, cancer patients often need a sympathetic person with whom they can discuss their fears and worries. Oncology nurses are there to listen to patients’ concerns and provide any support that they can. Even if a patient just needs to vent, a nurse could be the perfect person to talk to because she can provide a non-judgmental ear and comforting, reassuring words.

Nurses Work Directly With the Oncologist to Help Patients

Some oncology nurses choose to work directly with an oncologist to monitor the progress of each and every patient. They are there to give answers and provide support whenever the oncologist is too busy to sit and talk with a patient. They also clear up any questions patients may have regarding medications they’re receiving. And oncology nurses will most likely be the point of contact when a patient first calls the treatment center with questions for the doctor. In other words, a good oncology nurse can be a liaison between patient and doctor.

For those who want to enter the medical field and make a real difference in the lives of patients, online nursing education is an option.