An Extraordinary Healer essay honoring MARCUS GASAWAY, B.S., RN, OCN [TEXAS ONCOLOGY-AUSTIN MIDTOWN, AUSTIN, TEXAS]
Margot Goodman and Marcus Gasaway, B.S., RN, OCN - PHOTOS BY KELLY COLSON
As a patient at Texas Oncology-Austin Midtown for 11-plus years, I have seen my fair share of chemo/infusion oncology nurses come and go. Marcus Gasaway has been my infusion nurse for over three years, and I feel strongly that he should receive the recognition that he deserves.
Marcus works closely with patients to understand their personal needs, learning to provide emergency services and assisting other nurses when needed. He is such a caring individual and very compassionate about every single patient that he treats. When he accesses my Port-a-Cath, he always gets it on his first attempt, with an actual blood return — he is very gentle and causes very little pain. He makes sure to learn the names of every single patient that he treats or comes in contact with. Not only does Marcus know who you are, he goes above and beyond to make sure that you are feeling well and get the best care possible. If you have questions or don’t understand something, he will go over it with you until you do. If Marcus cannot answer your question(s), he will find someone who can.
Marcus always greets everybody with a smile. He asks how they’re feeling and how they’ve been doing. He knows who wants a warm blanket and who doesn’t. He knows who wants their bottled water at room temperature and who wants it cold. He knows who wants to watch TV and who wants to read a book. He knows who just wants to sleep. Marcus doesn’t judge you or treat you differently if you’re cranky or just plain tired.
He also doesn’t complain — ever! I’m there for eight hours for my infusion, as it has to be run very slow. I’ve spent a lot of time in that infusion chair, so I’ve been able to observe firsthand the professionalism that Marcus displays. I’ve seen him on several occasions come to the waiting room to help the sick and elderly walk back to the bay that he is running. When I have a reaction from my treatment, Marcus takes it upon himself to talk with my oncologist/hematologist, my pharmacist or whomever else he needs to check with to help reduce my side effects.
One day, I causally mentioned to Marcus that I might not be able to afford one of my pain medications. He quietly pulled me aside and showed me how I could find coupons for some medications on the computer. I also learned that I could call the manufacturer directly to see if they could help reduce my co-pay. I’m forever grateful to Marcus doing this for me.
Not only does Marcus complete excellent, quality work but I’ve also seen him help out his co-workers, such as taking late lunches to pitch in until things slowed down. He does this with a fantastic attitude and a very willing disposition. Marcus is a highly respected and often-requested chemo/infusion nurse. Although he is on his feet the entire day, he manages to maintain a standard of excellence, and his encouragement and support have made all the difference to me. I’m sure Marcus’ supervisor appreciates all his contributions to Texas Oncology-Midtown. I know I do.
Words of appreciation are nice, and they are sincere, but there are times when actions speak louder than words. I want to make sure you know how much Marcus is valued and appreciated, not just by me but by all his patients. I cannot think of a more deserving, compassionate individual for the Extraordinary Healer® Award.