Claudia Millan, RN, BSN, never thought she would be an oncology nurse. She watched her mother beat cancer, but lost her aunt to colon cancer and her father to lung cancer. She never thought she would ever be on the other side of the table.
However, she enrolled in nursing school and worked on the Women's Oncology floor at Smilow Cancer Hospital as a student nurse, and again after she graduated, as a registered nurse. In October 2014, Claudia became an outpatient nurse and two and a half years later, an Assistant Patient Services Manager. Now, Claudia oversees patient care at the Smilow Cancer Hospital Care Centers in Fairfield and Trumbull.
Through her daily routine of rounds, listening to patient issues and suggestions, and ensuring there is enough staff, she is able to still engage in some direct patient care by helping take care of IVs and infusions on occasion. At times, Claudia is the only direct resource in the center, so it is important to her to have the opportunity to maintain a level of patient-facing care. But while she may not work with patients for the entirety of her day, she realizes she can still impact their care.
"Knowing that I make a difference in the lives of the patients - but in a different way, it keeps me going," she explains. "I lead a group who is outstanding in everything they do - the nurses and PCAs, and our supporting teams: the MDs, APRNs, the lab, and PFA's. We are a close group and every little thing we do is huge to the patient. Everything we do is a little piece of the puzzle that forms a big picture at the end of the day."
Claudia has also spearheaded fundraising for the Closer to Free Ride as another way to give back to her patients. "This (2017) was our third year participating, and we were able to fundraise money that will benefit our patients directly, making me and the team very grateful of what we can do."
Throughout her nursing career, Claudia has always put patients first, and last fall, she was honored with The DAISY Award® For Extraordinary Nurses. The DAISY Award recognizes nurses who were nominated for an extraordinary act of compassion or a relationship they created with a patient that made a difference. Read Claudia's spotlight.
Congratulations, Claudia, and thank you for your compassionate care and dedication to your patients.