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Celebrating Oncology Nursing Month in May

May 21, 2020

Lance Ortega, MBA, BSN, RN, OCN, director of nursing services.

Oncology nurses play many important roles for cancer patients, including caretaker, counselor, comforter, teacher, and friend. They guide patients through every step of their treatment, lend a hand – and an ear – and provide critical cancer care with compassion.

In recognition of Oncology Nursing Month and the special role oncology nurses treating cancer patients, Lance Ortega, MBA, BSN, RN, OCN, director of nursing services, discusses the special role of oncology nurses.

You lead Texas Oncology’s nurses across the network. What makes you most proud about working with oncology nurses?

I am most proud of the difference our nurses make in patients’ lives. We come from many different backgrounds, and we have many different perspectives. Yet, we are united in our mission to serve our patients to the best of our ability. Each of our nurses has a servant’s heart. They embody what it means to be Texans helping Texans fight cancer.

What is something people would be surprised to know about what it means to be an oncology nurse?

Nursing is a lot like an iceberg in that people only see about 10 percent of the work while the other 90 percent is going on under the surface or behind the scenes. Nurses do a lot to ensure patients get the care they need and deserve. I continue to be amazed and proud of the stories I hear of nurses going above and beyond the call of duty to deliver excellent patient care, especially during this uniquely challenging time in history.

Nurses are needed now, more than ever, and we need to foster new nurses’ growth, especially in the field of oncology."

How has leading through the COVID-19 pandemic changed your perspective about your work?

This has been a challenging time for everyone. The speed at which Texas Oncology has re-evaluated and shifted our established protocols is unprecedented. Our first priority is to always keep our people and our patients as safe as possible.

What changes do you predict will impact nursing in the years to come?

I’m interested to see how COVID-19 will change the healthcare industry. This health crisis has shown that all healthcare workers are heroes every day. Nurses are needed now, more than ever, and we need to foster new nurses’ growth, especially in the field of oncology.

What message to you have for oncology nurses everywhere during Oncology Nursing Month?

Keep being awesome! Nurses contribute so much to the public health of our country and around the world. Oncology nurses have an important role to play – caring for patients with cancer. I am honored and humbled to work alongside so many amazing peers.


For upcoming webinars visit www.TexasOncologyFoundation.org.