If all you ever do is stay right where you are, youíll never know how truly magnificent your life can be. Step enthusiastically out of your comfortable rut, and into the bright, beautiful world of new possibilities — Ralph Marston
That's a quotation from a class I recently attended, and I loved it. Here are a few reasons why.
It reminds me of a few things in my life as an oncology nurse. First off, donít get stuck in a rut in oncology. Oncology is great, but itís good to not always take, say, the leukemic patients -- take the cancer patients that you arenít as familiar with and learn something new. Secondly, I always look up medications and diagnoses that I donít know; regardless whether they are my for patients or not, I enjoy learning new things.
We recently had a patient on a new chemotherapy regimen. I didnít have this patient, but I asked the doctor who prescribed it why it was ordered versus our usual regimen. I also asked the pharmacist, because I wanted to know what had changed. Lastly, I asked the patient what he had been told about the regimen, since we get the medical version while they get the laymanís version -- this helps me explain it to future patients.
Another thing this quote makes me think of is my education. I knew I didnít want to be a bedside nurse forever, so I went back to school. I love learning new information and getting more involved with work activities as a result of my education. I am gaining a better understanding of why all these things are so important. I also must remember that my education will force me out of my comfort zone of oncology and hematology and thrust me into a new world, hopefully in an administrative role, since thatís what Iím going for.
What Iím also reminded of are my patients. Many of our cancer patients will get into the routine of treatment: Receive a chemotherapy dose then have three weeks off, repeating this cycle for several months. We have to remind them that, despite their diagnoses, they can still live full lives. Encourage them to plan vacations around chemo, take spontaneous day trips, and so on. Yes, they need to stick to the regimen, but they can still live life. Those who do live life to its fullest while undergoing treatment are those who seem to have the best outcomes.
As either an oncology professional or a patient, we'd do well to take Marston's advice and break out of our ruts and experience the varieties of life. That is really the only way to be.