pediatric oncology nurse

Behind The Curtain: A Look At The Role Of A Pediatric Oncology Nurse

Each day, I wake up and look forward to making my way to work. I look forward to seeing my young patients, and working with an amazing team of people to help families through their cancer journey.

Since my work can be hectic but very rewarding, I thought I would give you some insight into my role as a pediatric oncology nurse. Here’s what keeps me motivated to come in each and every day with a smile on my face.

My Role As A Pediatric Oncology Nurse

In our clinic, each physician is assigned a nurse, and so those physician’s patients are also the patients of pediatric oncology nurses.

I get to know my patients really, really well. I take care of the same kids all the time and get to share in a lot of their experiences and those of their families.

We go through their diagnosis process together, their treatment process, and follow up with them long term once they are off therapy.

How My Day Unfolds

Teamwork is a huge component of our day here at Children’s, and I work with a great team.

Although I may report to a nurse manager, there are my fellow nurses, the group of physicians, and specialists from different disciplines that I work closely with on a daily basis.

When the nurses get here in the morning, we review the schedule for the day together. We assign all the patients to make sure each nurse has the patients they know best. Then, each nurse sets out to prepare for their patients and what they need for the day.

pediatric oncology nurse

This one-on-one time I get to spend with my patients and their families is my favorite part of the day.

The Most Challenging Part Of My Role

The most challenging part of the day is ensuring that each and every one of our patients is taken care of as quickly as possible.

Since we hate to rush any of our patients, once in awhile the next patient in line may have to wait a small amount of time to be seen. We work very hard to meet this challenge and keep the wait time to a minimum.

We appreciate all of the amazing families we see, and we especially appreciate their patience on days that wait times are a little longer.

The One Question I Happily Answer Over And Over Again

The question we hear most from parents is, “What is my child’s blood count today?”

Here at Children’s in Omaha, we place a large focus on blood counts. So, we are continually being asked about lab markers and each child’s lab results.

We make sure parents understand what white counts are, hemoglobin, platelets—basically, that they understand everything about their child’s blood count.

Also read: Understanding Blood Test Results During Your Child’s Cancer Treatment

What Keeps Me Motivated

Knowing that I can help make a bad situation in a family’s life a little better is what keeps me going every day.

To be there for those families and to help them through their journey is just very rewarding. If I can make these kids’ lives even a little bit better, then I’ve accomplished what I set out to do.

My Advice For Lionfighters

Never be afraid to ask us to do something for you.

We want to help families through their journey, so if you don’t ask us, we won’t know how to meet all of the needs you have to make your journey easier.

Advice For Other Nurses

Working in this field can sometimes require some difficult soul-searching. For me, I rely on my faith and the belief that there is something bigger than ourselves in this life.

My one piece of advice to other nurses would be to not be afraid to give of yourself. It’s okay to care.

I think that’s a huge part of nursing—that it’s okay to care and give of yourself because the rewards you reap are enormous.

Anisa Hoie
I've been a nurse for nearly 32 years, mostly taking care of kids with cancer. My job is to give the kids and their families a personal touch while they go through treatment.

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