May is Oncology Nursing Month, a time to thank and recognize the 37,000 certified oncology nurses across the country.
Oncology nursing is a unique specialty that requires advanced training in cancer care. Oncology treatment nurses are there to help explain the diagnosis, guide patients through treatment, comfort patients through their journey, and celebrate victories.
So often, nurses go beyond what's expected of caregivers, helping save lives and improve the lives of others.
Sabina Suggs, RN, is an oncology nurse in the Bone Marrow Transplant Unit at Intermountain LDS Hospital. She knows first-hand the importance of oncology nurses. Just 23 years ago, she was a patient in the same hospital where she now works.
Knowing first-hand the importance of exercising during recovery, inspired Suggs to start the 'Motivated to Move' program on her floor which gives patients fun incentives to get up and move.
Patients who sign up for the 'Motivated to Move' program are invited to keep track of how far they walk each day around the unit and also have a chance to win medals once they take enough steps to complete an actual 5k, 10k, half marathon, or full marathon.
Intermountain also uses a comprehensive team approach which includes experts collaborating across all locations.
This means, when patients choose an Intermountain facility, they have access to the overall cancer care team of experts, specialized cancer doctors, technology advances, (such as Precision Genomics), clinical trials, and research available systemwide.
Oncology nurses are part of this team led by oncologist physicians or nurse practitioners (NPs).
Other key members of the care center team at Intermountain Cancer Center include:
- Nurse Navigators help with disease treatment education, coordinating of patient care, and general problem-solving. Their goal is to provide the best care possible to patients and families throughout their cancer journey.
- Social Workers can help patients cope with cancer and provide support for psychological and social concerns.
- Genetic Counselors can help determine if there is a genetic reason for the occurrence of cancer in a family. They can discuss the benefits and limitations of seeking genetic testing.
- Financial Advocates often help patients understand their out of pocket expenses and what their health insurance plans may cover.
- Registered Dietitians provide medical nutrition therapy for patients during all phases of treatment.
Intermountain Cancer Center physicians and caregivers apply a wide variety of advanced methods, technology and therapies to reduce and remove cancer cells. Every Intermountain cancer care plan involves individualized treatments based on cancer type, state, and location of the cancer and other considerations.
For more information, go to: intermountainhealthcare.org/medical-specialties/cancer-care.