Questions about Oncology Nursing

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    I am soon to graduate and I think I am interested in Oncology (on top of a few others). How do you handle seeing patients at their worst in life? Do you get attached? If you have a loss, how do you handle it? I do have a tendency to let each patient worm their way into my heart in 12 hours or less (which is why I am leaning more toward ER, no real attachment can be made) and I am afraid that I would be crushed each time I lost someone. I know loosing patients is inevitable no matter what floor you are on, but I am just wondering how you deal with it? I consider myself a very strong person, and feel as if I can offer my strength to patients who are dealing with chemo and radiation and emotional weakness, I feel as if I WANT to be the shoulder for them. Am I thinking about this the wrong way?
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  3. 2 Comments so far...

  4. 2
    Well, I find that working on the floor at least, you don't see every death, and when you do the person is usually so ready to go it is almost a relief. The things that haunt me the most are the difficult, painful deaths, but they are few and far between.

    I work Oncology because like you I enjoy the relationship with my patient. I truly get to see the whole range of humanity from the bottom to the most loving relationships. I focus on making my patients comfortable and helping them to cope. Relieving pain is one of the most satisfying parts of my job. Perhaps if you focus on what you can control of the disease, it is easier to create boundaries. I try to approcah my patients from a professional, yet personable level and do intentionally create some barriers so that I'm not too impacted if they pass.

    Best wishes to you,
    Millie
    Emilynn09 and Tree5981 like this.
  5. 0
    Quote from MillieT
    Well, I find that working on the floor at least, you don't see every death, and when you do the person is usually so ready to go it is almost a relief. The things that haunt me the most are the difficult, painful deaths, but they are few and far between.

    I work Oncology because like you I enjoy the relationship with my patient. I truly get to see the whole range of humanity from the bottom to the most loving relationships. I focus on making my patients comfortable and helping them to cope. Relieving pain is one of the most satisfying parts of my job. Perhaps if you focus on what you can control of the disease, it is easier to create boundaries. I try to approcah my patients from a professional, yet personable level and do intentionally create some barriers so that I'm not too impacted if they pass.

    Best wishes to you,
    Millie
    Thank you for your reply. I was just asked the other day by a fellow student, "YOU wanna go into oncology? What made you think that?"...and I was kinda shocked. I'm not as cold as they think I am! LOL! I"m just not a mushy mushy person!


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