:roll :roll :roll
People have heard of "Universal Precautions" but not chemotherapy precautions!
I have NEVER EVER EVER mixed chemotherapy. I'm sure in some places nurses do - but they are trained in how to do it right. When I was pregnant, I did not hang chemotherapy, just in case. One of my pharmacists told me that there were antibiotics that were just as dangerous, if not more so. (Like IV Acyclovir for one) I hung that every single day - but did not know it was dangerous.
As long as you follow precautions , you should be fine - same as with body fluids, etc.
I wish I could tell you what a typical day was like. They vary so much!! Some days are wonderful - the day your 32 year old patient gets to go home with his wife and kids after being in the hospital for 57 days and KNOWS that his cancer is gone and he is going to have a shot at raising those kids, or the day your 28 year old transplant patient gets out of bed for the first time after he was extubated and walks around the unit without assistance - these are proud moments
Then there are the days when you watch a mother watch her child die a week shy of his 21st birthday and there are no answers, or the phone call you have to make to the wife of a patient who just coded unexpectedly, or the day you tell that 32 year old that his cancer is back, and there's nothing we can do.
But you get through these days because you care about them and because you care, you made a difference. Your fellow nurses rally around you, because they have been there too.
Another thing - my doc's ROCK!
They value the nurse's opinions and really seem to value what nursing contributes to a patient's overall well-being. They will very frequently ask the opinion of the nurse - AND TAKE IT - over the opinion of the interns. Way cool!
Oncology is great! You were misinformed. It is sad that your instructors have not learned that every discipline in nursing is valuable. Not to say that everyone will enjoy oncology - but they shouldn't try to disuade you from it.