Oncology nurses become family not just with one another, but their patients as well.
I met Maura Znavor, B.S.N., RN when I interviewed her for a position in our treatment room. The only two things I knew about her were that she was oncology certified and her father was receiving care in our treatment room.
Since that day, she’s become so much more than that to me. She is a caring, exuberant, charismatic and kind nurse who uses all her strengths to care for our patients every day. She cries with them and holds them when they get bad news but also laughs with them, celebrates with them and encourages them.
One of our regular patients, Danny, was visiting almost daily for IV fluids while getting treatment, and she adopted him into our little treatment-room family. It may seem like a small gesture, but she bought over 1,000 stickers to share with our patients and decorated their charts or wristbands. Danny lived for those stickers. He used them to decorate the baseball cap that he wore every day when he came to see us. He expanded his collection with every visit.
Then the day came when he got to ring our end-of-treatment bell, a day everyone laughs and cries together. Danny was saying goodbye to the nurses he saw almost every day, and he cried. Maura took the time to kneel by his wheelchair and share loving words.
Danny said, “Maura told me I will always have a special place in her heart.” Later, he told me, “She has been with me since the start of my treatments. She has always been compassionate and caring, from the heart. She brightens all my days here and gives me hope for a healthy future.”
That is Maura: loving, genuine and certainly an extraordinary healer.