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An email from Christi McPherson, RN, BSN

An email from Christi McPherson, RN, BSN // 09/19/16

Hello, everyone –
Several of us went to the local chapter of the Oncology Nursing Society’s Fall Conference this past weekend. All of the speakers were great, but the keynote speaker said some things I just wanted to share. Her name was Terri Tate, and she herself has been an RN for many years and is a head and neck cancer survivor. Her topic she spoke on was called, “A Crooked Smile: Facing Change with Grace and Humor.” You see, she was treated years ago and had very negative results from her treatments (surgery and radiation). She had recurrent H & N cancer, requiring (at the time) removal of part of her jaw, half of her tongue, and she now has no working salivary glands. In other words, during her presentation she had to stop frequently to get sips of water due to very dry mouth, and it was a struggle for her to both talk and swallow from the deformity in her mouth and face. However, she has learned to handle all of this adversity with a great sense of humor and had the audience in stitches frequently.
Here are some things she said that I just wanted to share. She asked us to apply it to our workplaces to help all of us think the best of one another and work more as a team:
·         They used to refer to experienced nurses that treated newer nurses poorly (including LPN’s/MA’s/CNA’s) as “eating their young.” They now call it “lateral violence.” It’s when we’re nasty to one another. So, instead of gossiping and pot stirring on the job, talk about yourself. It will cut down on gossip at work. Keep the humor alive! It’s essential to laugh. Plus it works your abs, and it’s good for the soul. 
·         Let people know how much you care about them. Say “I love you” more often, and your life will be filled with more moments of grace/positivity.
·         Be grateful for the little things, even in the worst moments. Ignore and quiet the “vile bitch” in your head. Even if you’re having a bad day, always remember you’re making a HUGE difference in the lives of others.
·         Take good care of and be nice to yourself, and it will help you treat others better, too.
 
- Christi McPherson, RN, BSN // Radiation Oncology // Huntsman Cancer Hospital