Compassionate and Courage Cancer Care

Publication
Article
Extraordinary Healer®Extraordinary Healer Vol. 18
Volume 18

Compassionate, caring and courageous are the words I would use to describe Marianne Smith, RN, ONC.

From left: MARIANNE SMITH, RN, ONC, and PAMELA O’NEIL, M.S.N, NP-C, AOCNP, APRN   PHOTOS BY EDI DIBUSZ

From left: MARIANNE SMITH, RN, ONC, and PAMELA O’NEIL, M.S.N, NP-C, AOCNP, APRN

PHOTOS BY EDI DIBUSZ

Compassionate, caring and courageous are the words I would use to describe Marianne Smith, RN, ONC. She is an oncology nurse in the infusion clinic at Optum Care Cancer Center in Henderson, Nevada. She has been a certified oncology nurse for the past 23 years and a registered nurse for 29 years.

Marianne’s colleagues describe her as a “spunky, fun, beautiful person and the best patient educator in the clinic.”

One colleague stated, “Marianne presents information to patients in a way that decreases their anxiety and fears, while giving them enough information to ensure they understand their treatment.”

Another colleague commented, “Marianne is someone I can count on for advice and information. She is always willing to help in any way possible.”

Marianne exhibits compassionate care with her gentle approach toward patients by listening intently to their fears, diffusing their anxiety with a warm blanket and gentle touch, and attending to their side effects in a timely and safe manner. One patient described Marianne as “a warm hug with a mug of hot chocolate, when it is needed most.”

Marianne’s ability to think beyond the treatment and attend to the whole person demonstrates her courage as a patient advocate. We recently had a young female patient with a disability that requires a service dog to attend to her at all times. During a treatment session, the patient confided to Marianne that she had applied for disability as she was having difficulty finding employment. Due to the young age of the patient, her disability benefits were going to be an insufficient amount to cover the cost of her living expenses, causing her anxiety and distress. Marianne reached out to the palliative care nurse practitioner in the clinic to seek help for the patient. While palliative care provides support to patients in the clinic, they usually do not assist with career planning or employment coaching; however, they agreed to meet the patient. They worked with her to develop her resume and provided information on disability organizations in Nevada, as well as provided emotional support and encouragement along the way. With Marianne’s assistance, the patient obtained gainful employment and increased her self-esteem, as she is now providing for herself and her family.

Nursing is the art of caring with compassion, integrity and courage. These are all attributes of Marianne Smith. She truly is an extraordinary healer!


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