My Love For Being a Pediatric Hematology / Oncology Nurse

I wanted to share my story on why I love being a Pediatric Hematology / Oncology Nurse. It amazes how my patients are so strong and brave. The lasting relationship that are formed are amazing. There is not a day that I do not enjoy going to work. I love my job and would not change it for anything. Specialties Oncology Article

My Love For Being a Pediatric Hematology / Oncology Nurse

I knew as a young child I wanted to work in the medical field. When I was 14yrs I was aware I would be called to be a nurse. I did not go straight to college after high school, instead, I decided to get married and have children.

I began my career path in the medical field while working as a medical assistant when I was 19 yrs. old in a pediatric office. This setting later confirmed for me that I wanted to continue my calling in the nursing field, as a pediatric nurse. I feel privileged to have a wonderful husband and family who made it all possible for me to go to college and helped to make my dreams come true.

I started my nursing career at a well-known pediatric hospital as medical/surgical nurse. On my unit, after a year, if you were a strong nurse, you were strongly encouraged to do oncology. So, I was enrolled for the oncology provider course. Never in my wildest dream did I imagine I would love being a pediatric hematology/oncology (Hem/Onc) nurse. I was afraid of getting attached to the patient's, especially if it was not going to be a good outcome, but to my surprise I realized that this is what God called me to do. The fear I had of taking care of the pediatric oncology population was gone, this turned out to be my calling.

I get asked a lot, "How can you do that?" My response is that I enjoy being able to make lasting relationships with my patient and their families. I love that in my job I get to spend large amounts of time with the same families, get to know them and they get to know me. I love seeing my patients get well when they have been so sick. I love that I get to know each of their unique personalities and know how they like their care delivered.

Nevertheless, there are sad times also working on an oncology unit. In my career span, I have seen most of the children I cared for get better. It's very emotional for nurses when you know there is nothing you can do to help your patient, other than provide support. You become very close with the families, and when a child dies, it's terrible. However, as difficult as it is, to provide my patient and family with comfort in their time of loss, it is a great honor in such a distressing time.

There are definitely ups and downs working on an oncology unit. Can it be emotionally straining? Yes, but it is also rewarding. Seeing them ride their tricycles, or having them play pranks on us, and even getting ready for the oncology prom is amazing. I love the hugs I get from patients and families and having long talks. I love being able to celebrate their last chemo. I love when a patient is off treatment and they come back to visit. It just shows how much we really mean to them. They teach me that life is too short and to appreciate every moment with your friends and family. I love what I do, and would not change it for the world.

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Specializes in Psych, Substance Abuse.

That's beautiful! It definitely takes a special person to work as a pediatric nurse, especially in oncology. I have always said that there were three specialties I would never work in--hospice, oncology and pediatrics. My mom died in a hospice from cancer, so that's why those two specialties are a little too personal for me. As for pediatrics, well, I just don't think I could handle seeing children pass away. I know that no one can really handle it, but seriously, in my peds clinicals I literally felt like an elephant was sitting on my chest on my first night. We were in the ER and there was a little boy that cried just like my baby. I was only in there for about 5 minutes before my eyes started welling up, and I hadn't even dealt with any patients! I can only imagine being on the oncology unit. I know I need to toughen up, but it's hard. Now that I am an inexperienced RN (with the dreaded associate's degree!) I have opened up my choices to hospice and oncology, and maybe peds, but not peds + oncology. I just can't go there.

I'm glad that most of your patients get well and are able to go home. That must be very rewarding! You are truly an extra special nurse to be strong enough to give those little ones the loving care they need.

Specializes in NICU, Trauma, Oncology.

This is beautiful. This is the path I wish to take :)

Specializes in PACU, presurgical testing.

Beautiful. Your patients are lucky to have you.

Beautiful Story. Thank you for sharing and God bless you for the care you provide to your patients and their family members.

This was so very beautiful. I hope that you realize that your loving and caring attitude is making the patient experience far better than you could ever imagine. I am glad that you get lots of hugs, knowing that you are appreciated. I wish you the best and keep on doing what you do, it does make a difference. Be Blessed.

Thank you for sharing your story, I am truly inspired.

Thank you Martine for sharing such honesty about your love and passion for your career. Your words are inspiring.

This is very inspiring! I am starting my medical assistant program next week! so excited!:shy:

Love your passion!

Specializes in Oncology; medical specialty website.

I worked in peds for several years and most recently worked in OP oncology, but I don't know if I could work with kids who have cancer. I admire anyone who can do that.

Thank you for sharing your story!!! I start my first job next week as an RN in Peds Heme/Onc and I'm so grateful to have been chosen for this specialty!!