Oncology Teamwork With a Personal Touch

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

They work as a team always. In this way, they are always up-to-date on each and every patient’s condition and needs.

I am 82 years old. I was made aware of my situation 10 years ago when I heard the word “cancer” uttered by my oncologist. Just the word itself suddenly caused my life and my feelings of mortality to take a nosedive. I am fairly certain that most patients with cancer have the same feelings at that point in time. I received a diagnosis of multiple myeloma.

After 10 radiation treatments, I embarked on eight years of oral and infused treatments. This was in North Carolina. I was fortunate to get my treatment at an excellent clinic, Novant Health Oncology. In fact, in 2019 I nominated Jennifer Becker, RN, for the Extraordinary Healer® Award. She was not selected, but we were included in the annual recap issue, which we both felt was an honor.

In 2020, my wife and I were invited to move to California and live with our oldest son and his wife in the Sacramento area. We accepted their offer and sold our house.

I had become very comfortable with the treatment I had received and was somewhat worried about making a change, especially when the arrangements would have to be long distance. I needed to have everything in place so that there was minimum time between my last treatment in North Carolina and my first in California. I decided on the Dignity Health Medical Foundation’s Mercy Medical Group. They scheduled me for my weekly infusion a week after my scheduled arrival in California.

I arrived for my first visit and met the nurses who worked in the clinic, Danielle Mick, B.S.N., RN, and Vickie Cox, RN, OCN. It is a small treatment center with two registered nurses and a phar- macist to handle the medical supplies. Danielle and Vickie made me feel at ease immediately; it was as though they had known me for a long time.

They were thoroughly aware of my treatment history. When I arrived the following week for my second treatment, I discovered that they had contacted the nurses at Novant Health in North Carolina to get any information that could help them with my treatment. I was very impressed with this interest in making sure that they had as much information as they could get.

That was just the start of my next 52 weeks of treatment with these two fantastic nurses.

It has been very enlightening to study their modus operandi. They work as a team always. In this way, they are always up-to-date on each and every patient’s condition and needs. Sometimes it’s just a little touch, such as arranging the chair that I use each week so that it faces toward the windows. The Union Pacific Mainline runs past the clinic, and they found out that I am a great railroad fan and love to watch the trains go by. A small thing, yes, but a fantastic thing for me personally.

I have observed how they treat each and every patient when I am there. Each has a special need of some sort. I have seen them with an obviously new patient who is scared and confused about the treatment. They both work with that patient, carefully explaining each and every step of the procedure in a way that is easily understood.

Patients who require a bit more personal attention receive the same every time. These ladies demonstrate an attitude of total empathy for each and every one of us. It is this attitude and their personal treatment methods that make the infusion experience one that is much more relaxed and free from anxiety than it would be otherwise.

On the professional side of things, they both are extremely competent and knowledgeable with regard to their patients’ needs. They both have been oncology nurses for more than 10 years.

I feel that I, as a patient, can really determine the real meaning of Extraordinary Healer® because the registered nurses and I are at that level where the “pedal meets the metal.”

We are at the level where the real work of cancer treatment takes place.

I realize that this probably goes against what you usually expect, but I feel that I would be remiss if I nominated one or the other of these extremely capable nurses rather than trying to choose just one of them. They are a fantastic team in the workplace and deserve to be the same fantastic team in this nomination. These nurses are perfect examples of what it means to be an Extraordinary Healer®.

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