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Career Story: Registered Nurse In An Oncology Clinic

Registered Nurse In An Oncology Clinic

Job Title: Registered Nurse

Type of Company: I work for an outpatient cancer center where we administer chemotherapy.

Education: BA, Political Science, Clemson University •• RN, Diploma Program, Danville Regional Medical Center, MSN-UNC, Chapel Hill

Previous Experience: I worked in management for nine years and have been an oncology nurse for five.

Job Tasks: I am responsible for taking vital signs and assessing patients for problems with treatment. I administer chemotherapy, monoclonal antibodies, and blood products to patients. Typically I have about 5-8 patients a day. I also have to watch them during treatment for reactions. I start IV's and draw blood for labs. I have to be well-versed in the latest chemotherapy guidelines and must attend re-education classes.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is seeing someone respond well to treatment and "graduate". The worst part is that many of the patients do not get better and many die.

Additional Thoughts: It has been surprising how hard on my body this job can be. You don't realize you have run eight miles, had no time for a bathroom break or any lunch until you've gotten in the car and are driving home. This job will only get harder in the coming years because the nursing shortage is going to get worse. If you're tough and can handle it, go for it! There are lots of opportunities but there's really not an "easy" area to get involved in. You also have to have a very good attitude.

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