The Essence of Remarkable Cancer Care

The Extraordinary Healer Award for Oncology Nursing celebrates the unsung heroes in the world of cancer treatment.

Oncology nurses are the unsung heroes of the health care world, embodying a rare blend of compassion, expertise and resilience that sets them apart as exceptional caregivers. These dedicated professionals play a pivotal role in the lives of patients with cancer, providing not only medical treatment but also invaluable emotional support throughout their journey. With unwavering dedication, oncology nurses navigate the complexities of cancer care, offering comfort and guidance to patients and their families during some of the most challenging moments of their lives.

What truly distinguishes oncology nurses is their ability to forge deep connections with patients, fostering trust and understanding in the midst of uncertainty. Beyond administering treatments and monitoring symptoms, they serve as advocates, educators and confidants, empowering patients to make informed decisions about their care and providing a steady source of encouragement and hope. Their kindness knows no bounds as they navigate the highs and lows of the cancer experience alongside those they serve, offering a steady hand and a compassionate heart every step of the way. In the face of adversity, oncology nurses stand as beacons of strength and empathy, embodying the very essence of remarkable care.

This year marks the 18th year that CURE and Oncology Nursing News have hosted the Extraordinary Healer Award for Oncology Nursing, which gives people — patients, caregivers, families, colleagues and doctors, to name a few — the opportunity to recognize and honor the oncology nurses who have made a significant impact on their life.

Oncology nurses aim to be thorough not only in their assessments of patients with cancer, but also while serving as their support system.

“She leaves no stone unturned when meeting and assessing patients,” a mentee wrote about her preceptor in her nominating essay. “She realizes that sometimes the oncology nurse can be a patient’s only constant support, and she gives each patient 200%. She realizes how scary cancer can be and treats each patient with compassion, dignity and respect.”

The relationship that oncology nurses form with their patients can also greatly impact their families and caregivers.

“[He] built a relationship with the patient’s parents during this time,” a nominator wrote about her friend who is an oncology nurse. “This patient and his family would request [him] whenever he was on shift because of how much better the patient felt when [this nurse] spent time with him. Sadly, this patient passed away, but it was well known that [this nurse] made a great difference in this patient’s care and during the last few weeks of his life. [He] went beyond the medical treatments in taking care of this patient, and he continues to do this with everyone he cares for.”

Beyond the scope of patients with cancer and their families, oncology nurses have such an influence on their colleagues, helping them strive to be the best nurse — and person — they can be.

“She is the model of the person and nurse I hope to be,” a nurse wrote about her colleague in her nominating essay. “[She] brings warmth and compassion to the patient, treating each individual as important. She leans into the individual’s story and follows them into the hurt and struggles they have faced, while simultaneously planning the ways in which we can support them, which foundations they should apply to, and which community organizations they should reach out to.”

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