Compassionate Cancer Care Through Life and Death

Extraordinary Healer®CURE® Extraordinary Healer® Vol. 16
Volume 16

In my time working with Kate Beining, B.S.N., RN, CRRN, at Ocean University Medical Center, she has demonstrated immense compassion for each and every one of her patients. She advocates for her patients’ needs and escalates pertinent information to the interdisciplinary team to be able to provide the best care possible.

On any given day, Kate radiates positive energy despite any adversities she may face during her shifts, and she has been a role model for me since I started working on the oncology unit. There are many instances that come to mind when I think of the compassionate care Kate provides.

There was a patient who originally was going to go home with hospice care but ended up becoming an inpatient at hospice. This patient and her family wanted to speak to the interdisciplinary team about their concerns with conflicting statements from various physicians.

When I gave the report to Kate, I updated her on the plan of care and asked her if she would be able to clarify with the various physicians, one of them being the patient’s oncologist at a different hospital, to help the patient reach her goal of going home and not “dying in a hospital.” The patient and family were concerned, scared and worried about what was going on, what hospice and/or palliative care were and what services could be provided.

Kate connected to the patient and family and was able to have a therapeutic conversation with them that allowed them to have a true understanding of the situation, hospice and palliative care. She was able to answer all of their questions.

When I came back that night, the family spoke highly about Kate and how wonderful a nurse she was, that it was apparent that she truly cared for her patients and wanted to respect their wishes and provide the best care.

This patient ended up transitioning to inpatient hospice, and I spent the weekend caring for the patient. Before leaving after my last shift, the family expressed their gratitude for the compassion provided and ultimately providing the best care possible during her final days. Before I left, they asked me to thank Kate for them, for without her their loved one may have not been as comfortable as she was during this transition from life to death.

This situation was a gentle reminder of the work we do as oncology nurses. Not
only do we celebrate the lives of those who challenge cancer, who get to celebrate more birthdays, who get to spend more time with their family, but we provide a dimension of care that may seem foreign to those not within our field.

Kate consistently demonstrates compassion, empathy, positivity and determination to provide exceptional care.

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