Name and position

Pat Branham RN, OCN Director of Clinical Services

What got me to HOPE?

I was with another oncology clinic for more than 10 years and it was slated to close due to a retiring MD. I was encouraged by that MD to apply at HOPE as he felt I would be a great fit. I believe that God already had things aligned for me to step into this role here at HOPE!

What inspires me?

I find inspiration in everyday. I am inspired by my family, how we together have taken on certain obstacles in our lives and mastered the outcome. I am inspired by my peers at Black Nurses Rock and Oncology Nursing Society. Being involved with these organizations help me as I gain so much knowledge and encouragement from these organizations. as it helps me continue to be inspired on a professional level. I am further inspired by my team here at HOPE, and how they can take resources that are sometimes limited, yet able to help facilitate better outcomes because of their persistent spirits. Finally, I am inspired by our patients and their families’ by how they can continue to be motivated to fight the good fight even when it looks like the fight is over.

Memorable moments at HOPE Cancer Center:

Some of my most memorable moments at HOPE are when a patient has completed their treatment, and they gather with their family, friends, physicians, and staff to ring the victory bell. What a sweet, awesome and awe-inspiring sound!

Personal connection

I was assisting the chemo infusion nurses’ with a young lady in her late thirties, that had been recently diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer. She was understandably terrified at the possibility of what might be in her near future or no future. I was able to reassure her to just live in the moment and trust God with all of her doubts and fears. I encouraged her to live every day like it’s the last and be unapologetically selfish. We talked for an hour, as she shared some aspects of her life that she hadn’t shared with anyone with me, family included. We cried and laughed, and a connection was started at that moment. The patient went on to lose her battle with cancer, but both of our lives were enriched by that first meeting.

General information and advice

I encourage our patients and their families to allow the healthcare team to lead the way but I also encourage them to be our compass. When they have questions or concerns, write them down and bring those to every visit until they feel they have been heard and received an answer. I challenge them to be an active participant in their experience. Know your bodies and be in tune; when something seems different—report it.

 

—Author, Pat Branham

RN, OCN Director of Clinical Services