Combining Oncology Teaching With Compassion

Extraordinary Healer®Extraordinary Healer® Volume 17
Volume 17

Jessica Smith, B.S.N., RN, OCN, has been an oncology nurse for 27 years and continues to provide personalized, compassionate care to her patients as a direct care oncology nurse.

From left: Amy Tootle, M.S., B.S.N., RN, (wearing a white shirt and black pants) and Jessica Smith, B.S.N., RN, OCN (wearing blue scrubs)  Photo provided by Amy Tootle, M.S., B.S.N., RN

From left: Amy Tootle, M.S., B.S.N., RN, and Jessica Smith, B.S.N., RN, OCN

Photo provided by Amy Tootle, M.S., B.S.N., RN

Jessica Smith, B.S.N., RN, OCN, has been an oncology nurse for 27 years. Jessica began her career on our blood and marrow transplant (BMT) unit and continues to provide personalized, compassionate care to her patients as a direct care oncology nurse.

I am her nurse manager, and I have known Jessica since 2011 when I was a direct care oncology nurse. At that time, she was my nurse preceptor. Jessica is professional, knowledgeable and efficient. She serves numerous roles in BMT. She is a preceptor to new staff, she is a charge nurse, and she serves on a shared governance council. Jessica maintains her professional oncology certification and her nursing clinical ladder.

As a preceptor to new nurses, Jessica consistently goes above and beyond to provide concise, comprehensible oncology education to new team members. Jessica gives honest, in-the-moment feedback to her peers to provide an open-communication environment.

She answers questions and provides opportunities to new team members using innovative, thoughtful instruction. Jessica has a spirit of inquiry and frequently reaches out to the advanced practice provider, attending physician, clinical nurse specialist, clinical trial teams or nursing leadership to find the answers to her questions. Jessica is compassionate and caring, and she strives for high-quality patient outcomes. Jessica continually has conversations with the members of the health care team and provides solutions when patient care challenges arise. She is known for expertly searching for policies, clinical guidelines and unit-specific standards.

Jessica has served on numerous shared governance committees over the years and currently serves on the patient care council. As a council member, Jessica serves as the nurse assigned to the BMT unit to complete skin prevalence rounds, a nurse-led assessment of our patient’s skin status. Jessica approaches every patient during these rounds and immediately helps them feel comfortable with the assessment process. She engages with compassion and a healing attitude as she ensures the unit is providing the best care possible.

Jessica has created a group education class for central venous catheter line teaching to all patients and caregivers. This two-hour, hands-on class involves step-by-step line care instruction and demonstration. Jessica schedules time beyond her regular work hours to engage and support patient care and education endeavors.

Jessica is passionate about communicating best practices and advances in skill compe- tence to provide the best nursing care. She constantly engages in new learning opportunities and educational experiences to have a better understanding of the ever-changing world of patient care. As I reflect on the unpredictability of the COVID-19 pandemic over the past few years, I am grateful for Jessica’s willingness to assist her team, her steadfast support of colleagues, and her unwavering dependability and focus on patients.

Jessica is an excellent resource who is committed to increasing her knowledge of the nursing profession. Jessica is invested in the success of each of the new employees that she precepts. She is optimistic, confident and a great listener. She often gives employees and patients an outlet to express their fears, frustrations, anxieties and successes. Her positive attitude offers motivation for new employees to excel.

Jessica excels at providing holistic care to provide health and healing to the complex patients on the BMT unit. Jessica exemplifies our framework for nursing practice, Relationship-Based Care, by caring for the patients and family members, her colleagues, herself and her community. Jessica is known as the expert on the BMT unit. Her peers ask for her guidance and feedback. Her patients are comforted by her knowledge and insistence on nursing excellence. Jessica instills hope within her patients by providing personalized patient care with a calm, caring character. Jessica’s self-awareness, excellent communication skills and willingness to help others build trust with her patients and their family members.

I’m proud to have Jessica on my team!

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