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Cancer Matters Home Issues & Perspectives What is Compassion? It’s a Nurse.

What is Compassion? It’s a Nurse.

What is Compassion? It’s a Nurse.

Compassion is defined as the awareness of the suffering of another, coupled with the wish to relieve that suffering. It isn’t something that can be taught. Compassion comes from the heart and it’s a quality that sets apart our cancer nurses. Our nurses put patients first by providing outstanding care, developing innovative practices and training the next generation of nurses. Each year, we pause, gathering to celebrate our nurses at the Kimmel Cancer Center's annual Clinical Excellence Awards. I was deeply moved listening to the nomination letters that included such poignant descriptions written about our nurses by their colleagues for the Kimmel Cancer Center’s Clinical Excellence Awards.

Caring for thousands of patients each year is a Herculean task and it requires special knowledge, skills and strength. Our nurses spend many hours in patient rooms. During those moments, patients often share their deepest concerns.

It takes its toll, but each of those thousands of patients is a life worth caring for, as are the families that love them. They’re all touched by a cancer nurse helping, healing and comforting.

So, while we select a few individuals each year to congratulate, it’s worth noting that all our nurses are a making a difference every day. Thank you. We couldn’t do it with you.