Meghan Hebert
May 2022
Santa Monica UCLA Medical Center
Santa Monica
United States




I know that Meghan made an invaluable difference in her life.
As oncology nurses, we are faced with having difficult conversations with patients on a near-daily basis. However, to have such difficult and meaningful conversations with grace and clarity is a gift that helps set the trajectory for a patient's care. The nurse I nominate – Meghan Hebert - went above and beyond, and I know her patient will remember her for the entirety of her cancer journey.

The Patient is a 24-year-old female admitted for anemia and expedited work-up. Imaging showed she had a large mediastinal mass concerning lymphoma. A couple of days into her hospital stay, a bone marrow biopsy was performed to confirm the diagnosis and treatment plan. Meghan stayed with her through the procedure but saw the fear and confusion in her eyes. Afterward, Meghan asked the patient, "Do you understand what is happening?" The patient started crying and said, "I have no idea what is going on or what is happening to me." Meghan sat her down and apologized that things weren’t clear. Meghan clearly and calmly explained that they are concerned that the mass is lymphoma and that the PICC line they placed would potentially be used for chemotherapy depending on the results. Meghan then explained what the next couple of days would look like – that she would get chemotherapy either in a hospital or in a clinic, then go home, and return every three weeks. Meghan was the only person who helped the patient understand both the severity of the situation and that there was going to be a plan to get her healthy and to get her through this.

The next day the patient had a different nurse who asked if she had any questions about her care. The patient confidently responded, "My nurse yesterday explained it all to me. I feel good that I can handle what is next to come." For such a life-changing hospital admission, by taking the time to speak openly and honestly about the patient's care, I know that Meghan made an invaluable difference in her life.