I have been reading My Sister’s Keeper over the last 6 months or so. I have been going through this book slowly mainly because it deals with what I deal with on a daily basis. The ethics of oncology treatments. This book brought a different perspective my role as a oncology nurse. I loved it! It was hard to read, but good to see the other side of things. What do the parents go through when the go home? What do the patients have to deal with when they go home? All these questions were answered in this book.
Also what I liked about it was that it was factual. They discuss chemos, medications, bone marrow transplants in medical terminology that is accurate. I feel like many books, movies, TV shows make nursing look easy, and the doctors do the hard work. That is definitely not true. This quote helps define what oncology nurses (both pediatric and adult) go through:
An oncology ward is a battlefield, and there are definite hierarchies of command. The patients, they’re the ones doing the tour of duty. The doctors breeze in and out like conquering heroes, but they need to read your child’s chart to remember where they’ve left off from the previous visit. It is the nurses who are the seasoned sergeants-the ones who are there when your baby is shaking with such a high fever she needs to be bathed in ice, the ones who teach you how to flush a central venous catheter, or suggest which patient floor kitchens might still have Popsicles left to be stolen, or tell you which dry cleaners know how to remove stains of blood and chemotherapies from clothing. The nurses know the name of your daughter’s stuffed walrus and show her how to make tissue paper flowers to twine around her IV stand. The doctors may be mapping out the war games, but it is the nurses who make the conflict bearable.
-quote from My Sister’s Keeper
Nursing is not easy.
Oncology nursing is not easy.
The oncology field is a huge ministry.
I am blessed beyond belief to be an oncology nurse.
So to all the nurses out there who may not think you are making a difference, you are.