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Career Story: Oncology Nurse In A Big City Hospital

Oncology Nurse In A Big City Hospital

Job Title: Oncology Nurse

Type of Company: I work for a large teaching hospital in Boston.

Education: BSN, Nursing

Previous Experience: I worked on a medical surgical floor as staff nurse for two years and then changed hospitals and worked as a float pool nurse for the next eight. I then decided to take a job on a hematology and oncology unit in my hospital and I have been there for the past two years now.

Job Tasks: I work at a very busy hospital in Boston. I love being a registered nurse. You have so many area's in which to work that you can choose from. The last two years I have worked with patients who have cancer, mostly lymphomas and leukemia, which is a cancer of the blood.

A typical day on the floor on which I work is unpredictable and fast-moving. You never know what's going to happen. First, you get a verbal report from the nurse who worked before you. Each of us is assigned three patients and they are all very sick. One of your patients, for example, could be getting a bone marrow transplant today; another could be getting chemotherapy and will need a lot of medicine; and your third patient could be crying because he just found out that his cancer is spreading and not getting better. You need to give him your emotional support. You give out medications and hang IV bags. You do a lot of explaining. These people are fearful and nervous and their lives are in your hands. They are feeling so bad. They trust you and are grateful for the help you give them.

You meet so many different people that touch your life and whose lives you touch in turn that the work is very special. And a smile and a kind word go a long way.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of the job is making a difference in someone's life. But the hours are great, too, especially if you have kids.

The worst part about the job is that my feet are so sore when I get home.

Job Tips: Nursing school is hard but it is the best thing I did for myself. I make good money and only work 24-28 hours a week. There is always work and so many different areas of nursing: surgical, medical, cardiac, delivering babies. It is awesome. Nurses rock.

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