Marcela Boyacá Mesa
Latin News Agency for Medicine and Public Health
Patients diagnosed with any type of cancer require special attention due to the great physical and emotional impact that these conditions entail. Cancer cannot be treated from a single point of view, for this reason, there are nurses and nurses specialized in oncology to meet all the needs of patients.
Ruth Llanos is an oncology nurse who chose her career because she is a survivor herself. When she was just 19 years old, she was diagnosed with thyroid cancer and her personal experience led her to want to help people who, like her, suffer from this disease. In interview for the Journal of Medicine and Public Health (MSP), Ruth explained the importance of these health professionals specialized in oncology.
“We are that point of connection or contact between the patient, the family member and the doctor at the time of their diagnosis and treatment. In addition, through us the patient can begin this journey before a cancer diagnosis. Our responsibilities are basically to guide the patient and family about their treatment, clarify all their doubts if they have any, and together with their doctor we make decisions to proceed with treatment. Coordination is made between the relevant pharmacies for the administration of chemotherapies and as soon as this is approved by a medical plan, the patient’s treatment is carried out and we direct that patient along the way and follow up on the evolution of the treatment ”.
Oncology nurses are in charge of strictly monitoring the step-by-step of each of the treatments according to the state of the disease, the continuity of which depends on that control.
“If we are not in the middle of the doctor and the patient, the next thing would not really happen, which would be treatment to see if the patient can achieve a remission or what we know how to eradicate that cancer.”
The essential for the patient in treatment
Receiving a diagnosis of cancer is not easy, because in the social imagination there is the idea that cancer is synonymous with death, that is why family, emotional and spiritual support is very important. Ruth Llanos, from her professional and life experience, pointed out that this is the most important thing to cope with the process in a more serene way.
“It is very important that both the patient and the family go hand in hand, there must be good communication, there must be good empathy and, above all, there must be a spiritual concept, that will help patients to keep going, having faith always present. I tell my patients no matter what religion you are from, no matter who you have believed in or who you believe in, the important thing is to activate the faith and increase it ”.
Listen to the full interview here
Cancer treatment must be comprehensive, so its success depends on multiple factors, one of which is vital to have better results, is adherence to medications, that is, strictly adhere to the schedules and dates of each of the procedures that make up the therapy.
“It is important that this schedule is followed to prevent progress in their disease and to prevent the medication from stopping, a dose of medication that the patient does not take is an interruption in their treatment. We nurses want to minimize the severity of their disease and this is done with follow-up based on their condition. If there is no evolution, changes are made and all this is managed based on their schedule.
These health professionals give their lives with each patient and a close nurse-patient relationship is undoubtedly woven. The hours they spend together, the illusion of the health professional to see improvement through their work and the patient’s appreciation for all that the nurse does for him creates a bond that only those who experience these circumstances understand.
“The most difficult thing is that attachment that one takes with the patient and the family member and seeing that the condition gradually deteriorates until reaching a process of not having improvement, of dying, of falling bedridden, is Very difficult. Sometimes these processes go through and we, no matter how much we are with them, there are no words to give comfort, there is silence and only the company and support remain. ”
Ruth’s answer is emphatic when she tells why she chose the specialty of oncology: “sometimes things happen for a reason and a reason and that’s why we’re here”. Definitively, knowing what the patient feels and having experienced it firsthand is a great advantage in Ruth’s case. However, there is no doubt that each of the professionals who choose this path does so by vocation.