Great Nurses = Compassion + Knowledge

We are delighted to post the following guest blog from Melanie Bowen.  We absolutely agree, for all cancer patients.  For seniors, especially anyone with any form or level of dementia, the compassion and expertise of the great nurse are even more critical.  Thank you, Melanie.

When a person is dealing with cancer diagnosis, treatment or even recovery, they rely heavily on the advice and counsel of their team of physicians.   People recognize nurses not only as authorities in health care, but also as providers of sympathy and information.  

 As a result, dealing with a compassionate, knowledgeable nurse can go a long way toward relieving a patient’s concerns.  This makes it easier for them to focus on recovery and quality of life, essential ingredients to the patient who is under a great deal of stress.

It’s not uncommon for people who are dealing with cancer diagnosis and treatment to feel very alone in the world.  They may have numerous questions and concerns that need to be addressed.  These questions may be about the course of treatment or the possibility that the cancer may spread.  People are likely also struggling with more existential questions that they may never have considered before.  

A great nurse welcomes these questions.  Their unique experiences provide them with a perspective that few other people have.  They can help patients feel less alienated and more connected to life.  Sometimes, they can do this simply by listening.  At other times, they may be able to offer advice and insight that doctors may be too rushed to provide.  As a result, nurses offer psychological and emotional support in addition to their medical knowledge.  It is this focus on the entire individual that can truly help a cancer patient deal with the life altering changes they are undergoing.

Nurses who work with cancer patients do so in clinics, hospitals and doctor’s offices around the world.  However, some of these nurses can also be found in the homes of cancer patients. These nurses work for home care agencies that supply medical equipment and other support in the homes of cancer patients and other individuals requiring assistance.  

 The availability of nurses through home care agencies makes it possible for cancer patients to reside in a familiar, comfortable place where they can continue to enjoy good connections with family and friends.  The home care agency nurse may visit on a daily basis if necessary, and provides a high standard of care.  Because they see their patients so frequently, they often have an opportunity to get to know them quite well, building a special bond that both patient and caregiver appreciate.

The nurse’s unique combination of skills, ability and experience makes them well qualified to assist patients at every stage from diagnosis to recovery.  They can help patient’s transition from one phase of their treatment to the next, providing welcome information along the way.  With their assistance, the process of cancer treatment is demystified, and patients have a better opportunity to adjust psychologically to their changing circumstances.   

 It is the nurse’s compassionate, hands on approach that often provides the most helpful support to patients.  No matter what type of cancer you may be going through whether it is breast, colon, mesothelioma or leukemia a nurse can help you along the way and provide you the medical and emotional support that you need to get onto the road to recovery.

Again, thanks to Melanie Bowen, and best wishes to all.  Bert


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