Unit 45 Medical Oncology Team
at The University of Kansas Health System
RNs and More
I have been humbled, impressed and touched by the care the Unit 45 Medical Oncology Team has been lovingly delivering to a patient.
We have a patient in this hospital with whose case we became familiar long before he came through our doors to receive care for rectal carcinoma. He presented with a number of challenges for us, many of them stemming from his psychiatric diagnoses and developmental delays. His course of care would involve both radiation and chemotherapy, and it would span over several weeks. We knew it was likely he would present us with unique scenarios with regard to safety and communication. We also knew that no other hospitals were willing and able to provide the level of care and service this gentleman would need as he began his battle with cancer. Enter Unit 45.
To say that the professional group of nurses and support staff on Unit 45 demonstrate excellence through their clinical expertise, extraordinary service and compassionate care would be a gross understatement. They immediately took stock of this patient's individual needs, engaged his Guardian and started the delivery of personalized evidence-based and flexible care. When we worried that he would become violent as a result of his treatment and confinement to a patient room, they watched him for cues and accompanied him around the unit so he could explore the environment which made him more comfortable. When they learned of his passion for doodling, they staged small notepads and pens in multiple locations around the unit so he could draw and write during his exploration of their space.
When they were worried about his ability to maintain his weight and eat, they learned about his favorite things to eat and drink and made sure those items were readily available. Because his radiation treatments required anesthesia each and every time, they clustered their care activities to occur while he was sedated in order to minimize his discomfort. They embodied the caring, trusting relationship that nurses should have with their patients, got to know him as a person and tailored their actions to what would work best for him, not for them.
The team on Unit 45 has surpassed every expectation I had for this patient's care delivery, and my expectations are quite high. They wrapped their collective arms around a patient who had a very good chance of missing out on the opportunity to receive treatment for his cancer had we not created that opportunity for him. Thank you, Unit 45 Medical Oncology Team.