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My Incomparable Oncology Nurse, Lilia
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A Mother's Lifeline: An Amazing Oncology Nurse
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A Lighthouse in the Storm of Cancer
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My Extraordinary Healer Before and After Cancer Treatment
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My Letter to Nancy, an Extraordinary Oncology Nurse
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The Oncology Nurse With the Pale Pink Booklet
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With Cancer, It's Either Laugh or Cry
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Ray's Oncology Nurse: His Sunshine and Guardian Angel
August 20, 2016 – Raymond Dziolowski
Our Pediatric Oncology Superhero
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Our Extraordinary Home Link to the Oncologist
August 14, 2016 – Susan B. Whigham
Abby's Oncology Nurse: A Gift of Love to Our Family
August 14, 2016 – Steven Oliver
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August 06, 2016 – Darlene C. Terroni
Mom's Oncology Nurse: A True Lifesaver
July 31, 2016 – Cassidy Poske, daughter of Christi Poske
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July 30, 2016 – Donna Clark, RN, BSN, OCN
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My Oncology Nurse: A Shining Star of Hope
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May 21, 2016 – Cera Stanford, BSN, RN, PHN, NE-BC, HACP
Finding a New Friend Through Cancer
October 08, 2016 – Mack and Lacinda Frazier
Helping Me "Take Charge" After Cancer
October 01, 2016 – Jim Berrey
My Incomparable Oncology Nurse, Lilia
October 02, 2016 – Luke G. Conley III
Compassionate Cancer Care That Began With a Hug
September 19, 2016 – John G. Moisan
A Mother's Lifeline: An Amazing Oncology Nurse
September 17, 2016 – Lindsay Querin
A Lighthouse in the Storm of Cancer
September 11, 2016 – Myra Katsuki
My Extraordinary Healer Before and After Cancer Treatment
September 10, 2016 – Larinda Conrad
Finding an Unexpected Friend Through Breast Cancer
September 05, 2016 – Diane Makrinos
Good Karma From My Oncology Nurse, a Kindred Spirit
September 04, 2016 – Mary Ann Kurpinski (patient) and Linda Nabozny (sister)
My Letter to Nancy, an Extraordinary Oncology Nurse
September 03, 2016 – Shelli Greenland
The Oncology Nurse With the Pale Pink Booklet
August 28, 2016 – Tammy Wilsford
With Cancer, It's Either Laugh or Cry
August 28, 2016 – Melissa (Missy) Grace
Ray's Oncology Nurse: His Sunshine and Guardian Angel
August 20, 2016 – Raymond Dziolowski
Our Pediatric Oncology Superhero
August 21, 2016 – Glen Jusczyk on behalf of Malia Jusczyk
Our Extraordinary Home Link to the Oncologist
August 14, 2016 – Susan B. Whigham
Abby's Oncology Nurse: A Gift of Love to Our Family
August 14, 2016 – Steven Oliver
More Than Just a Cancer Nurse: Mel's Angel on Earth
August 08, 2016 – Aggie Higginbotham
A Grateful Daughter: How One Oncology Nurse Made All the Difference
August 06, 2016 – Darlene C. Terroni
Mom's Oncology Nurse: A True Lifesaver
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A Loyal Friendship Conquers Cancer's Boundaries
July 30, 2016 – Donna Clark, RN, BSN, OCN
Currently Viewing
One of the Quiet Oncology Heroes
July 24, 2016 – Lisa Barnes
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July 18, 2016 – Revathi Suppiah, MD
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July 16, 2016 – David M. Waterhouse, MD, MPH
Holding Our Mission -- and Her Oncology Patients -- in Her Heart
July 10, 2016 – Melissa Andres, BSN, RN, OCN
On the Frontlines, Advocating for Every Child With Cancer
July 04, 2016 – Daniel W. Lee, MD
My Oncology Nurse: A Shining Star of Hope
July 03, 2016 – Jessie M. Turner
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July 02, 2016 – Catherine Hugues
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June 25, 2016 – Nina Garkavi
My Oncology Nurse and Lifesaver
June 26, 2016 – Mallory Turchi
A Healer for the Heart and Soul Throughout My Cancer Journey
June 12, 2016 – Jessica Bembry, RN, BSN, OCN and Sissy Smith
An Oncology Nurse With a Million Dollar Smile and Priceless Heart
June 11, 2016 – Brandi Brethour
Making a Long-Term Commitment to Pediatric Patients: An Interview With Diana Gordon
May 29, 2016 – DIANA GORDON, RN, MSN, CPNP, CPON
A Tireless Advocate for Children With Cancer and a Beacon of Hope
May 28, 2016 – Julie Blatt, MD
Advocating for Patients With Cancer, Near and Far
May 31, 2016 – Carmi Fazio, RN, MSN, ONA
An Extraordinary Healer and So Much More
May 16, 2016 – Lisa Chapman
The Joy of Caring: An Interview With Extraordinary Healer Winner Lynne Malestic
May 22, 2016 – Lynne Malestic, RN
Blending the Art and Skill of Oncology Nursing With Boundless Compassion
May 21, 2016 – Cera Stanford, BSN, RN, PHN, NE-BC, HACP

One of the Quiet Oncology Heroes

An Extraordinary Healer essay honoring Angela Ness, RN [ Richard A. Henson Cancer Institute, Peninsula Regional Medical Center in Salisbury, Maryland ]
 
BY Lisa Barnes
PUBLISHED July 24, 2016
 Angela Ness, RN and Lisa Barnes PHOTO BY JENNIFER SEAY CAMPBELL
Angela Ness, RN and Lisa Barnes PHOTO BY JENNIFER SEAY CAMPBELL
I met Angie several years ago when she worked for a local hospice. At the time, she was a nurse seeing hospice patients in the community and working as a liaison with our hospital. I always felt comfortable with her because she was a “straight shooter.” There was no beating around the bush about whether or not the patient who was referred would be accepted into hospice care. The patients and their families were smitten with her because of her ease in talking with them, the time she devoted and the information she shared. She was, and is, very down to earth. Everyone could easily see that Angie cared about all of the patients and their families.

A few years after I met her, we had an opening for a nurse navigator in radiation oncology. I strongly encouraged her to interview for the job. It was a part-time position, so she continued to work for hospice. Eventually, the job became a full-time position, and Angie took the job. Despite Angie’s knowledge and experience, she often questioned her ability to do the navigator job. There was a great deal to learn and keep up with. The position also was not clearly defined and was continually changing. But even on bad days, her focus remained on her patients and their families.

Angie kept plugging along, dealing with all of the institutional changes and pressures while diligently caring for her patients. I have listened to her talk with them, always very calm and relaying information in a way that people can easily understand. She is patient and kind with them. Angie will, however, correct any misunderstanding or misinformation a patient may have. She talks to patients as if they are her next-door neighbors.

Not only is Angie great with patients, she is also great to work with. She always helps out, even if it isn’t her job. She is a team player, despite working with a very busy physician. Her physician trusts her and relies on her to help patients get the quality care they need. She has changed from the person who doubted that she could do the job to one who continually does a good job while always being open to new ways to improve her skills and our practice.

This all is very remarkable because Angie went through a lot of challenges to become a nurse. She was a single mom who was receiving assistance from the state. She raised her sons and took advantage of every training program and opportunity she could. She worked to better herself and take care of her family. She worked her way up through the ranks to become a nurse. Angie appreciates being a nurse and is so proud of her profession — and she should be proud of herself!

Has Angie created some phenomenal program or cure for something? No, she is one of the quiet heroes of our oncology world. She prefers simply to do her job and doesn’t like it when someone makes a big deal over something she does. Angie consistently provides excellent care to her patients and their families. She makes each of us want to do a better job every day.

I am nominating Angie because she is an extraordinary person and nurse. She has worked very hard to help define her job and meet the complex needs of her patients. She connects with patients and their families facing the challenges of cancer. She advocates for them and makes sure that they understand the battle in front of them. While doing this, she encourages, comforts and helps them get through it one treatment at a time.

Here’s to someone who has worked very hard to become an excellent nurse and a quiet hero!
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