Amanda Tsui is a Registered Nurse in Medicine Hat at the Margery E. Yuill Cancer Centre. To Amanda, being an Oncology Nurse means more than just administering treatments. It means being there for patients every step of the way – from the moment they walk through the door to the moment they leave.
Amanda’s primary role is working behind the scenes at the tele triage desk, answering calls and texts from patients, and troubleshooting to ensure that they are ready to receive their next treatments. At times, Amanda can also be found working directly with patients, giving them their treatments.
Receiving a cancer diagnosis is often one of the most overwhelming experiences many will go through. As an Oncology Nurse, Amanda knows that her role is to provide the best care and support. With support from a strong and steady healthcare team, cancer treatments can feel much less daunting.
“Our patients sometimes tell us that it feels good to watch the way we work in the treatment area, because we treat our patients and our coworkers with kindness and consideration. This gives me great pride, because it means there is a culture of civility in that team, and that is not always an easy culture to build and maintain.” – Amanda T.
Working with a passionate and determined team is something that Amanda holds near and dear. However, working in healthcare comes with many challenges especially with regard to self-care. Working in healthcare is often met with high-stress interactions and even harassment. Amanda admits to being on the receiving end of abuse in her work environment from a few individuals receiving treatment.
“There is a minority of people who are determined to discredit us and undermine our efforts to sustain the health of the public. My determination to continue to show up and serve the many more people who believe in us, is much fiercer.” – Amanda T.
When asked what advice she would give to other healthcare professionals facing this reality, she encourages self-care. Amanda understands that when you work in healthcare, you do it because you are passionate about the health of the public and the patient. She also understands that you can only provide the standard of care needed if you are caring for yourself too.
“Do not forget to take care of your bodies and your minds with the same healthy lifestyle choices we encourage in other people for cancer risk-reduction. Practice self-care until it becomes as natural as double-gloving and spiking down.” – Amanda T.
It is without a doubt that Oncology Nurses provide a soft place to land for Albertans facing cancer. They continue to show up, fueled by passion and humanity, to hold the hands of those going through their darkest times. We are deeply grateful for each and every oncology nurse in Alberta and around the world.
Amanda says it best when asked what the most rewarding part of her job is. “The same thing that makes anyone happy in life: positive interactions with others.”
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