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Cancer nursing at Sharon Regional

By Rochelle James, RN, OCN
Clinical director, Cancer Care Center

Some people often are surprised when they learn that I’m a cancer nurse. Responses vary from empathy to admiration for the job of a cancer nurse. Comments include “you have to be someone special to do what you do” and “how do you take care of cancer patients everyday?”

Cancer nurses at Sharon Regional are caring, compassionate, and willing to smile, laugh, and give a hug or two. For those of us who work at the Cancer Care Center and on the inpatient units at the hospital, we find the rewards working with cancer patients are numerous-that’s why it’s easy to do what we do.

Cancer nurses at Sharon Regional are highly skilled in assessing overall needs of the cancer patient. The have received special training in the mixing and administration of chemotherapy drugs, and additional education in disease processes, symptom and pain management. Cancer nurses administer blood transfusion products to patients with anemia and understand the basis of radiation therapy treatments.

We show our dedication to cancer nursing by staying current on the latest treatments, leading support groups, promoting prevention and early detection through participation in health fairs and lectures, acting as liaisons in the community, and by lending support to colleagues who provide care to our patients in the hospital.

A major shift has occurred over the years in cancer from diagnosis and treatment to prevention and early detection as the primary focus. Cancer nurses provide expert care to patients and families as they move through the continuum of care from diagnosis and treatment, to potential cure or possible death.

The role of cancer nursing has expanded greatly since its inception approximately 20 years ago. Our new Cancer Care Center, 2320 Highland Rd., Hermitage, provides total cancer care at a modern facility her close to home. I am proud that our cancer nurses have been a key part of that growth.