Going through cancer treatment is like learning a new language. Patients learn words that have different meanings, like port, flush or line. I make an extra effort to explain this new language to patients, or I use an analogy to help them understand what is going on. It relaxes them.

I want my patients and colleagues to feel good when I am with them. I want to be remembered as the nurse who sang to her patient during a port flush, or the one who calmed their fears. I feel better when I hear a patient say they felt good working with me.

I give my best by making someone smile. My icebreaker is, “My name is Arch for short, because I’m short.” If I can get a patient or co-worker to smile, that’s important. My patients know that I’ll give them my absolute best. Despite it being a challenging time for patients, they are happy to see me and that makes me happy. I feel like my colleagues know they can count on me.

I wouldn’t do anything else. I’m proud of where I work, and I love coming to work. I’ve been a nurse for 22 years, and this is the best job I’ve ever had. You can see real progress being made for patients. Working here is the best teamwork I’ve ever seen. The patients see this teamwork, and it gives them more confidence that we are all giving them our absolute best. I go home and say, “I’ve had a good day.”

I want my legacy to be that I spread cheer through whatever means. Mine is singing. Patients come here with great uncertainty about their health and their futures, more so in cancer than with other health issues. Adding a small song of cheer makes a difference.

– Archana Sharma, RN, BSN, OCN, Oncology Infusion, Ann B. Barshinger Cancer Institute, Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health