Have you thanked an oncology nurse yet?

When we first introduced our Extraordinary Healer Award for Oncology Nursing in 2007, we had no idea it would be received so enthusiastically by both patients and nurses. Now in its fourth year, we've seen how far we've come from that first little idea we had--one that simply offered patients, survivors, and caregivers a chance to tell the world how much their nurse means to them.When we asked our Facebook fans and Twitter followers what characteristics they would want in an oncology nurse, it wasn't a surprise that many began talking about their own nurse."My GI oncology nurse is incredible! Not only does she get my questions answered from and to my doc, she helps calm my anxieties when I am having a "moment." She is available always by phone and email. She gathers records, fills out paperwork, gets it signed etc...very timely. The journey is MUCH easier because of her. Kind, compassionate, but mostly efficient and effective at her job. The best." "I had great oncology care from Newton-Wellesley NEHO, MA. First, the nurses all were upbeat. That helps. Chemo sucks and it is nice to see people who generally care and try to support you, make you comfortable and make you laugh. They were careful with injections, even when my veins got hard to find and they checked on me often. I had an exceptional oncology nursing unit. Many nurses helped me with treatments and they also knew and addressed everyone with respect and by name. Thank you, NW HEMO!""Can't say enough positive things about oncology nurses. They are the most compassionate people around who make you feel so special. Chemo sucks bad, but they do their utmost to make you comfortable....Thanks so much!""I think the best oncology nurses can always remember that this is all NEW for you, though they've had zillions of patients before. Not forgetting to tell you all the little things you can expect and need to know is so important, along with making sure you really understand it all and don't need some clarification or re-wording of the info. And ALWAYS asking if you have any other questions or concerns on your mind.""I know we could not have gotten through 4 years of chemotherapy if it had not been for the nurses. They made a horrible time as bearable as they could. They remembered things about your life and always had time for you. They expressed concern for me when it was my daughter who was going through the chemo. And when she died at 20 years old, it was the nurses who came to the funeral--not the doctor, who never even sent a card or called."Via Twitter, compassion and time were two traits that @Sharing Strength thought were important for oncology nurses to have. And @jodyms said, "She/he communicates compassion and optimism simultaneously. Amazing, amazing people," and followed it up with "One last quality: they never say never."Here's a few more we received:If you haven't nominated a nurse yet for CURE's Extraordinary Healer Award for Oncology Nursing, the deadline has been extended to April 12. We've broadened the category to include any nurse who cares for oncology patients, increased the word count (some of you thought 700 words was just not enough!), and accept peer nominations from other nurses.Let us know what characteristics you would want in an oncology nurse! And if you have a nurse that has those characteristics, say "Thank you!" (and then nominate them as an extraordinary healer at www.curetoday.com/healeraward).