Helping Patients Fight Cancer With All Her Heart and Soul
May 13, 2017 – Jayne O’Malley, RN, B.S.N., OCN Lung Cancer Patient Navigator and Manager of Navigation Services, Orange Regional Medical Center
Currently Viewing
Oncology Found Her
When Children Are Her Job
The Front Line of Urologic Cancer
May 23, 2017 – George J.S. Kallingal, M.D., M.P.H. Major, MC, USA Staff Surgeon, Urologic Oncology, Brooke Army Medical Center
A Life Devoted to Patients With Cancer
Caring for Patients Always, Always, Always with a Smile
May 26, 2017 – Jennifer Littke
A Lifetime of Impact for Patients With Cancer
May 26, 2017 – Andy Seibert
Oncology Nursing Is Not Just a Job, It's a Calling
June 02, 2017 – Ellijah Legaspi
Extraordinary Healer of the Soul and Body
June 08, 2017 – Gwendolyn Brack
A Tireless Patient Advocate
June 16, 2017 – Svetomir Markovic, M.D., Ph.D. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota
Moving Mountains to Help Patients - and Staff
June 18, 2017 – Marci Dahl Office Manager, HMS Oncology
My Charge Nurse, Teacher, Mentor, Co-Worker and Friend
June 24, 2017 – Geovanny Gomez, CNA Providence St. John’s Health Center, Santa Monica, California
The Magic Fit of Oncology Nursing
June 25, 2017 – Fred Hardwicke, M.D. Hematology/Medical Oncology Fellowship Program Director, Texas Tech Medical Center — Department of Internal Medicine
An Extraordinary Oncology Nurse: I Wish We Could Clone Her
July 01, 2017 – Jeffrey M. Farma, M.D. Associate Professor of Surgical Oncology, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia
Implementing Standards of Care in Radiation Dermatitis Prevention:
July 02, 2017 – Mario Lacouture, M.D. Director, Oncodermatology Program, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York
Putting Our Hearts Into Cancer Care
July 08, 2017 – Eileen Dwyer, RN
Oncology Nurse Inspires Patients, Health Care Team
July 15, 2017 – Abbey Brockman, RN, B.S.N., OCN Nurse Manager, Westwood Exam/Radiation Oncology, University of Kansas Cancer Center
Oncology Nurse Is in Tune With the Patient's Spirit
July 16, 2017 – Sherry Johnson, M.S.N., CPON, NE-BC Fundamentals of Magnet® Certificate Holder Director of Nursing Excellence St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
A Positive Guiding Light for Oncology Patients
July 14, 2017 – Mollie Maggied, M.H.A., B.S.N., RN, CPN, ATC Assistant Nurse Manager, Blood and Marrow Transplant Program, The Ohio State University James Cancer Hospital
Who Will Reduce Barriers to Cancer Care?
July 20, 2017 – Jill Vondrasek, MBA Marketing and Communications Director, Michigan State University College of Nursing
Bringing Hogwarts to the Oncology Unit
July 22, 2017 – Debra Jacobs
Sharing a Special Bond With a Remarkable Oncology Nurse
July 23, 2017 – Blake Peterson
Dealing With the Pride and Toughness of a Soldier With Cancer
July 29, 2017 – Carol Kelly
Joy: An Oncology Nurse Who Fits Her Name
July 30, 2017 – Susan Edgington
Restoring My Faith in Medicine — and Humanity
August 05, 2017 – Kalia Douglas-Micallef
Appreciating the Hardest-Working Oncology Nurse I Know
August 06, 2017 – Kevin Dimit
I Thought My Oncology Nurse Was an Angel
August 12, 2017 – Connie J. Trotter
The Oncology Nurse Who Goes There
August 13, 2017 – Danielle Burgess
The Heart, Soul and Laughter of Healing
August 19, 2017 – Bobbie Chew Bigby
A Saving Grace in Cancer Care
August 20, 2017 – Julie Cox
My Oncology Nurse Is a Soul Healer
August 28, 2017 – Kelley Kramer
My Oncology Nurse Gave Me a Birthday to Remember
August 26, 2017 – Lydia Conroy
Come With Me on My Cancer Journey With Trish
September 02, 2017 – Stuart Kremer, D.O.
An Extraordinary Nurse Gave My Husband an 11-Year Lifeline
September 03, 2017 – Mona Amundson
More Than Just a Patient With Cancer
September 16, 2017 – Steve Messiter
Learning a New Level of Gratitude as a Patient With Cancer
September 17, 2017 – Emerald Cromwell
My Oncology Nurse, the Sunshine in My Life
September 23, 2017 – Arlene McGrotty
Going the Extra Mile for Patients With Cancer
September 24, 2017 – Elaine Suva-Bongiovi
An Inspired Healer, Leader and Guide
September 30, 2017 – D.S.
Dispelling the Cloud of Cancer
October 01, 2017 – James G. Coe, Ph.D.

Oncology Found Her


PUBLISHED May 19, 2017
FOR SARA SARGENTE, RN, OCN, it was the middle of the night when she heard her calling to be an oncology nurse. From a young age, she had known she would be a nurse as she watched her grandmother leave for work in her starched white uniform and cap. But it was another moment that clarified oncology nursing as her calling.

She was only 13 when her grandfather was sent home on hospice for his final days after being diagnosed with colon cancer. She and her mother, an EMT, were caring for him, answering the tiny bell they had given him to ring for care.

“I was sleeping downstairs one night,” she recalls, “when I heard the bell. My mom didn’t wake so I went to help him by myself.”

Sara had no fear that night, she says, nor was she afraid when he died a few days later. Instead, she calls it a comfortable feeling as the family played his favorite songs and he closed his eyes for the last time.

While caring for him that night, Sara says she knew that her career in nursing would be as an oncology nurse, a vision she did not relinquish, even when everyone in nursing school told her she would have to do a few years of other, more basic care before going on to oncology.

Indeed, her first job was as a floor nurse in a general surgery unit, lasting only a few months before she applied for an oncology position at another hospital across town. It was a longer drive, but she knew it was where she belonged. After serving in radiation for a few years, she was tapped by a mentor to apply for a position as a nurse navigator for patients with head and neck cancer. “They go through so much with this cancer,” she says. “It is so very difficult, and their quality of life is affected. They can’t go out to eat with their family and enjoy the simplest things that we take for granted.”

Often, she goes to see patients at home, relieving them of the lengthy drive many of them must take to get to treatment. She facilitates a support group through the organization Support for People with Oral, Head and Neck Cancer (SPOHNC), and became certified in blood management to respond to the needs of the Jehovah’s Witness community members who do not allow the use of any blood products during surgery.

In 2017, she is beginning her second term as president of her local Oncology Nursing Society chapter, which she helped found to provide a closer group for area nurses.

“We have a core of nurses here who are so loving and compassionate, and they are not worried about themselves, but keep asking what we can do for the patients,” she says.

Sara oversaw a fundraiser that brought in $10,000 the first year the chapter was in operation. The group established a fund called Acts of Kindness, and any patient could apply. Last year they raised $15,000.

“Instead of giving it to nurses, we all decided we wanted to support the patients with $100 gift cards for gas or prescriptions or whatever they needed. For example, one woman who had a mastectomy needed a button-up-the-front shirt. That kind of thing. We have patients who are so poor they cannot buy their medicine.”

Sara is supported not only by the hospital, but also by her family, her husband and four children. As the third-generation healer in her family, she is watching the fourth generation prepare as her daughter trains to be a radiation therapist — in oncology, of course.
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