Ashley Keyes, Nurse, NP 12

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The 12th floor of Smilow Cancer Hospital serves as an inpatient unit for patients with solid tumors undergoing treatment and many that are managing end-of-life care and symptom management. Ashley Keyes is a registered nurse on the unit, and also works as a charge resource nurse providing leadership during her shift to other nurses.  She is also in charge of ensuring a seamless process for patient chemotherapy admissions, facilities interdisciplinary rounds with physicians, nurses, social workers, and care coordinators, and mentors new chemotherapy nurses.
Ashley recently received the Oncology Nursing Award for Excellence, a peer recommended, committee elected award for excellence, which she was honored and humbled to receive knowing how hard all of the nurses work. "All nurses at Smilow love what they do. This job is too difficult not to. The reward comes at the end of the day when you are exhausted and reflect on why. It's because you gave your patients everything you had, and they deserve that every day," Ashley said. "We focus on seeing our patients as people, not a disease. It comes down to giving patients the best quality care possible in an effective and safe manner."
Having worked as an oncology nurse for four years, Ashley described it as a hard, but very fulfilling job. She is with people in their weakest moment and is able to provide them care and some comfort. "It is important to remember the small things you can do," Ashley said. "Whether it's allowing a patient to see their favorite movie for the last time, like my amazing coworkers facilitated for a patient, or organizing pet therapy for them because they miss their dog at home, these seemingly small things can have a big impact on attitude and symptoms. And it's a way that I can give them some form of peace at the end."
Catherine Lyons, RN, MS, Clinical Program Director of Smilow Cancer Hospital, commented "Ashley epitomizes everything we strive for in Smilow. She is competent and compassionate; reliable and level headed. I am always glad when she is in charge as I know the right decisions will be made. Beyond that, she is a role model to new nurses. We are lucky to have her on our team."