Cancer Care Staff Part of Calming Environment
|Kari Foster, left, talks with Brenda
Thornton, at the UVMC Cancer Care Center.
Kari Foster and Brenda Thornton are the face of Upper Valley Medical Center's expanded Cancer Care Center.
When patients, families and visitors walk through the center's new entrance on the hospital main level, they first encounter Thornton, office coordinator, and/or Foster, medical assistant/receptionist.
"We greet them, make them feel welcome. It can be a difficult time for patients. They are unsure, are scared," Foster said. "We try our best to make them feel at ease. We assure them they are in good hands."
They answer many questions that patients have about their treatment process, whether radiation or infusion, or what they can expect while they are at the Cancer Care Center.
The women register each patient, make sure information is accurate and current and get them ready for their visit.
They get to know not only the patients but family members who often accompany the person coming for treatment.
"Some of them come every day of the week so you really get attached to people," said Thornton, who lives in Troy. She and Foster not only get to know patients and their families, but often share information about their own families.
Thornton has worked at the center almost five years.
"These patients are an inspiration to us because of what they are going through. It makes you realize how valuable life really is," Thornton said. "I have learned you should not sweat the small stuff. This (job) has changed my whole outlook."
Foster, a Piqua resident with the center four years, agreed.
"I have a passion for wanting to take care of people. It is a very difficult time that they are going through," she said. "If we can at least make a difficult time a little easier ... At least let them know they are not alone."
The new Cancer Care Center with its emphasis on a warm, welcoming environment offers "a calm feeling," Thornton said. The addition of UVMC volunteers to help guide patients to their appointments is a welcome addition, the women said.
Thornton said a quote she keeps posted at the reception desk says it all: "People may forget your name or what you said, but they will long remember how you made them feel."
Content Updated: November 19, 2014