Transcending the Chaos of Cancer
May 21, 2018 – Deborah A. Boyle, M.S.N., RN, AOCNS, FAAN, Advanced Oncology Nursing Resources, Huntington Beach, California
Oncology: The Only Choice
May 22, 2018 – Kathy LaTour
Currently Viewing
Nursing Through the Prism of Childhood
May 27, 2018 – Kathy LaTour
An Oncology Pioneer
June 03, 2018 – Fred Hardwicke, M.D., Childress Regional Medical Center Cancer Clinic, Childress, and Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Lubbock
Camping for Health
June 02, 2018 – Kathy LaTour
Improving Care Against All Odds
June 09, 2018 – Sr. Rosemary Donley, Ph.D., APRN, FAAN, Duquesne University
In the Hands of an Angel
June 10, 2018 – Jitsuda Sitthi-Amorn, M.D., St. Jude Children
The Day That Snow Brought Sunshine
June 17, 2018 – Patricia Jakel, M.N., RN, AOCN, Solid Tumor Program, UCLA, Santa Monica
Monday Morning Musings
June 20, 2018 – Justin Baker, M.D., St. Jude Children
Kathy Youngblood, Private Investigator
June 30, 2018 – Patricia Cathey, M.S.N., RN, NE-BC, St. Jude Children
Something Told Her to Become a Nurse
July 01, 2018 – Marilyn K. Stade
This Oncology Nurse Gives Back What She Receives
July 07, 2018 – Debbie Talley
The Oncology Nurse Is an Inspiration and an Example
July 08, 2018 – Marilyn K. Stade
Extraordinary Empathy in the World of Oncology
July 16, 2018 – Andrea Valera, RN, VA Palo Alto Health Care System
How One Oncology Nurse Exhibits the Best of Humanity
July 22, 2018 – Jacquelyn Pryor, Ph.D.
Pairing Diligence With Compassion in Cancer Care
July 21, 2018 – Margot Goodman
A Shining Star in Oncology Nursing
July 22, 2018 – Charles Turano
Compassion and Kind Ways in Oncology Nursing
July 26, 2018 – Edith Holder
Giving Is in Her DNA
July 29, 2018 – Deborah Dion
By My Side Through Cancer Treatments
July 27, 2018 – Malinda Blackshaw, RN
The Oncology Nurse Who Radiates Pink
July 28, 2018 – Eleanor K. Waldrup
Always a Step Ahead as an Oncology Nurse
August 04, 2018 – James G. Coe, Ph.D.
This Oncology Nurse Is Not Just Any Superhero
August 05, 2018 – Keitha V. Johnson
When Compassionate Cancer Care Meets Imagination
August 11, 2018 – Daniela Maniscalchi
An Anchor in a Time of Tumult
August 12, 2018 – Lillian Arleque, Ed.D.
From Devastation to Inspiration
August 18, 2018 – Wendy Tucker
Master of the Medical Matrix
August 19, 2018 – Linda McCarthy

Nursing Through the Prism of Childhood

An interview with Extraordinary Healer finalist, ELIZABETH DAVIS, B.S.N., RN, CPN.
BY Kathy LaTour
PUBLISHED May 27, 2018
Growing up in Memphis, Tennessee, Elizabeth Davis always knew that nurses and doctors at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital cared for critically ill youngsters. Today, the hospital is the only workplace she has ever known.

With five years’ experience, Davis is a relatively new nurse, but her colleagues recognize her dogged determination to work for her patients and their families through a variety of councils, committees and projects. During a fellowship at St. Jude, for example, she explored better ways for children to communicate their nausea levels by using the Baxter Animated Retching Faces scale, an undertaking that reflects the values of a hospital committed to shared decision making.

“It is one of those things that (makes) you ask, ‘How did we not think of this before?’” says Davis, 27. “It is not a yes or no but a scale the kids are living on every day. Zero means no nausea and 10 is serious nausea and vomiting.”

After her project was finished and presented, it was implemented throughout the hospital, and Davis decided to stay in the fellowship role to mentor the nurses coming after her. “I helped the nurse who nominated me with her project, which looked at how nurses deal with fatigue while working,” she says.

Davis recognizes that many outside the hospital setting who hear about her job conclude that they could not deal with the pain of children and their families.

Davis handles this tough situation by giving her patients the best days she can, no matter what those days are like. “I try to understand this through the prism of childhood,” she says.

Due to her work, Davis understands what children are capable of, and, in her estimation, they do not get enough credit. For example, some parents hold back health information from their children, particularly when the news is bad.

“The kids know, and they want to protect their parents. Near the end of life, they will be so worried about how their parents will take it,” Davis says. “They aren’t scared. They tell me they are going home to see Jesus, and they are excited. I have seen kids who see angels and talk about their loved ones who have died before them.”

The field of oncology seemed a natural fit for Davis from the first time she treated a patient. Since then, she has worked with patients from all over the world and looks forward to helping many more.

“The nurse who nominated me is the one I want to grow up and be,” Davis says. “She has the same drive to improve care. She is incredibly involved on many hospital committees, and she is inspiring. She is so special and opens her heart to every patient and caregiver.”
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