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Laura Radulski, RN, NP 1

Laura Radulski, RN for the outpatient infusion clinic on the first floor of Smilow, was inspired to start a career as a nurse after her husband was diagnosed with cancer, and she saw the impact nurses can have on a patients care, and the family unit as a whole. Her husband is now doing well, but her passion for helping others remained strong. Laura spent six years as an inpatient nurse on Smilow 14, but recently moved to the outpatient setting in order to be a part of the other side of a patient's journey.

In the outpatient setting Laura administers chemotherapy, blood products, and anything else a patient may require, such as electrolytes for dehydration. She works closely with the Practice Nurses, PA's, and the other infusion nurses administering care to patients with breast and gynecologic cancers. Educating patients about what to expect, and possible side effects, is another part of the outpatient setting.

Laura commented, "Seeing the grace and dignity with which these women carry themselves when they come in for treatment is inspiring. Sometimes they have small children with them and it is hard not to let it affect you, but my job is to be there for my patients and support them during a very scary and vulnerable time."

Reaching out to patients while they are outside of the clinic is another large component of working in the outpatient infusion clinic. Laura explained that keeping in touch with patients once they are home is so important in order to prevent admission into the hospital. Addressing issues at home before they become a problem is the goal, and providing resources, such as coordinating home care, so that they can stay out of the hospital.

While working on Smilow 14, Laura was awarded the Virginia Henderson Award, which honors individuals that have made outstanding contributions to nursing in the areas of practice, education, administration, political action, and service. She commented, "It was such an honor to receive this award, knowing how amazing all the nurses are that I work with. I was touched to know that they feel comfortable coming to me for advice or with questions, as I do with them."