Celebrate all that oncology nurses do

By Corinne Kompelien, RN, OCN May 26, 2017

They are with you through every step of your cancer journey. They know the tips and the tricks to make chemo, radiation and every aspect of cancer treatment more bearable. They translate ‘medical language’ into terms the average person will understand. They celebrate your triumphs and share a tear with you when nothing goes the way you hoped and prayed it would. And then they wipe their eyes, put a smile on their face and do it all over again for your fellow patient in the room next door. They are oncology nurses and their role is a special one.

Since 1975, the Oncology Nursing Society has provided practice guidelines and education for nurses who have dedicated their professional lives to caring for patients diagnosed with cancer. Each year at its conference, ONS brings together oncology nurses from across the nation and around the world to learn from each other about the latest in oncology nursing.

ONS also provides support for oncology nurses wishing to distinguish themselves as experts in their field through an exam. Please take note of the letters OCN on your nurse’s identification badge — they are Oncology Certified Nurses. These nurses work hard to earn these letters and they prove special qualifications to care for oncology patients.

Each May, ONS celebrates Oncology Nursing Month. This is a time to particularly recognize the work oncology nurses do every day — in hospitals and infusion centers, in radiation centers and clinics across the United States. The theme of Oncology Nursing Month 2017 is: ‘Fearless Commitment. Endless Compassion.’ This theme is extremely fitting for a nursing specialty with professionals devoted to smoothing the rocky roads of cancer treatment for their patients. Their goal is to do so in a fashion that leaves the patient feeling cared for and valued. Nursing is an art and a science, necessitating a two-pronged approach to patient care, especially in oncology. Your oncology nurse stays informed about the latest cancer treatments and techniques, while being an expert in providing the personalized, human-to-human connection that we look for in stressful times like a cancer treatment journey. To their patients, oncology nurses are: educators, advocates, confidants and much more.

This May celebrate oncology nurses. It’s the perfect time for to visit with your oncology nurses to express your thanks for all they do!