Oncology Nursing Day 2018 Message

April 3, 2018 |

To be a dancer you need music, to be a painter you need a canvas and to be a nurse you need patients.

Oncology Nursing Day is April 3rd and the theme is “Excellence in Oncology: Our Patients, Our Passion”. A theme designed to explore the relationship between nurses and patients. On the surface, it would be easy to conclude that the relationship is one sided with nurses being the net contributors and patients being the beneficiaries. However, in practice the relationship is much more dynamic where the roles aren’t always that linear.

Oncology nurses share their expertise, compassion and humility with their patients every day. No two days are ever alike, the variables are constantly changing – a new patient presenting with different symptoms, different responses to treatment or introducing new forms of treatment. But the underlying motivating factor remains constant, a desire to be an excellent nurse and have a positive impact for patients and their families.

Oncology nurses recognize that patients living with cancer are forced into a challenging life experience by a disease they have no control of. Despite the best available treatments, the future for cancer patients is unclear and there are times when the uncertainties are too numerous to count. Nurses can also feel sad and helpless confronting death and dying – prompting them to reflect on the meaning of their work. At that moment, patients are a motivating source, through their often determined resolve to fight cancer. They share their life lessons, compassion and humility with nurses daily.

This year we will be hearing several remarkable stories on how patients inspire nurses. These moments can be something as little as a bright smile or something larger such as hearing that they are being discharged. Despite everything that is going on patients have the ability to teach nurses on how to find resilience in challenging situations, how to value life and what is important, and how to show strength and courage.

All of these interactions leave an impact on nurses; it shapes who they are as a professional and just as important it shapes who they are as a person. These are the intangibles that make oncology nurses excellent.

Executive Director, Dr. Mary Jane Esplen