3 things I’ve learned as an MD Anderson nurse

I used to joke that I came to MD Anderson by mistake, because when I graduated from nursing school, I missed all the deadlines at the other major Houston hospitals to apply for positions. But five years later, my older brother was diagnosed with kidney cancer. And suddenly, I knew it wasn’t an accident. I never would have been able to take care of my brother and advocate for him the way I did before he died if I hadn’t worked at MD Anderson first. So I know now this is where I was meant to be. Here are three other things I’ve learned. Don’t apologize for asking questions As a nurse in the Gynecologic Oncology Center, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard patients say, “I’m sorry for asking you so many questions.” But answering questions is a part of my job, and I’m always happy to do it — whether you’re standing in front of me at the clinic or calling me from your home. Serving patients is the reason I’m here. Anything I can do to reduce your anxiety, I want to do it. So, don’t apologize for seeking information. If you’re feeling confused, need clarification or just want some encouragement, please ask. That’s what I’m here for. And I’m happy to help. My questions serve a purpose, too One of the things that really bothered my late brother when he was being treated for kidney cancer was how many times he had to answer the same questions from different members of his care team. Some of those questions felt pretty invasive, so it...