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Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Jeanne Griffin Vaughn, NP Nurse Practitioner, Inpatient NP Unit 7.5 years at Mass General
What influenced your decision to become a healthcare worker?There are a lot of nurses in my family- some even work with cancer patients. Growing up, nursing was the last thing I considered. However when a good friend broke his neck playing hockey I spent a lot of time at the hospital. It hit me how the nurses impacted his life - they were caring, intelligent, and personable. The nurses meant everything to him and the people who cared for him.
What drew you to the Cancer Center?
I have worked in cancer centers in Boston since 1997. I was aware of the reputation of the Mass General Cancer Center. However, in my first months at the Mass General Cancer Center I realized it was more than the academic achievements that made the Cancer Center special- it has the personality of a small community cancer center with the benefits of a “Top 10” Cancer hospital in the country.
What is your favorite part of working here?The people! My patients and my coworkers are incredible. I have learned so much from both groups of people. I’ve had my two sons since I started at the Cancer Center. The support I receive from my patients and their families is incredible. Despite everything they are going through, it is not uncommon for them to ask about the kids or share a story from their own experience. I recently transitioned to a new inpatient unit which is staffed by nurse practitioners. I now see patients with any type of cancer. The doctors and nurse practitioners have been wonderful about teaching and have made this unit a success.
Do you have any advice for those dealing with cancer or their caregivers/loved ones?Accept help. If someone asks what they can do, assign something. “You can drive me to radiation on Thursday” or “I love the oatmeal raisin cookies you make- would you mind baking some”. Most patients find this hard. I ask them what they would do if someone they love was diagnosed with cancer, and they say they want to do anything to help. This helps them realize the family/friends/neighbors/coworkers are sincere in the offers and makes it easier to accept help.
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