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Senior Oncology Nurse’s Professional Interview


Analyzing the professional activities of a person working in a related industry in the same area is a successful method of learning valuable information about the specifics and nuances of his or her responsibilities. This work is an interview with a senior nurse practicing in the oncology department for three years. Based on the questions about her personal perception of the work environment and management approaches promoted in the unit, relevant information will be obtained about her immediate duties, responsibilities, and the role of leaders in the care process.

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What is your role as a healthcare team member?

I am a member of the team of specialists and make feasible contribution to our department’s activity. One of my tasks is planning work shifts for colleagues and evaluating the effectiveness of specific interventions based on the assessment of each employee’s productivity. Also, the senior management trusts me to hold meetings and training aimed at team building. In general, despite the wide range of responsibilities, I am proud of my role.

How do you define professionalism, and how does professional responsibility influence your work?

In my practice, I try to not only adhere to theoretical aspects but also take into account the peculiarities of particular cases. It seems to me that Laidsaar-Powell, Butow, Bu, Fisher, and Juraskova (2017) describe the professionalism of oncology departments’ staff well as the responsibility “to respect the patient’s wishes” (p. E12470). This principle, in turn, influences my work and helps me gain more knowledge and experience.

Do you consider leaders in your organization stewards of health care? Why or Why not?

Yes, I am sure that leaders in my organization are definitely healthcare stewards. Our clinic provides services to patients with severe illnesses, and a careful approach to each case is one of the ways of maintaining a favorable care environment. Our task is not to dominate but help, and the management does everything possible to bring this idea to all the subordinates through an effective personnel policy.

Is it important to you that leaders exercise professional advocacy and authenticity, as well as power and influence when working with colleagues? Why or why not?

For me, it is essential to feel leaders’ support, and I believe that it is impossible to control all the activities of the staff without delving into the specifics of work. I agree with Gillet et al. (2018) who argue that employees in oncology departments need competent management due to high burnout rates. Therefore, the timely manifestations of ethics, strength, authenticity, and other properties may contribute to supporting subordinates and their proper motivation.

Do you consider your role important in the context of achieving positive patient outcomes?

Although I rarely deal with patients directly, it seems to me that my role is significant enough. I help the staff to organize their working hours competently and compile the schedule so that all the team members could not experience high fatigue and burden. This, in turn, influences patient outcomes positively because employees who have such support, as a rule, do not need additional incentives.

What advice would you give a novice employee in your department?

It is crucial to remember that our colleagues are always ready to help. There is no need to hide one’s emotions and feelings, which is especially dangerous when working with severe cancer patients. The team, in which colleagues are ready to support one another, as a rule, demonstrates high professional performance. Therefore, despite the lack of experience, it is important to raise one’s authority through collaboration but not solitude.

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The interview with the senior nurse of the oncology department provides an opportunity to understand the responsibility that she faces, as well as her leaders’ role in the organization of the care process. The respondent considers the interaction of her team members as a significant aspect of the practice. Professionalism is presented as the ability to interact with different patients, which is particularly relevant in the context of dealing with severe cancer cases.


Gillet, N., Fouquereau, E., Coillot, H., Bonnetain, F., Dupont, S., Moret, L.,… Colombat, P. (2018). Ethical leadership, professional caregivers’ well-being, and patients’ perceptions of quality of care in oncology. European Journal of Oncology Nursing, 33, 1-7. Web.

Laidsaar-Powell, R., Butow, P., Bu, S., Fisher, A., & Juraskova, I. (2017). Oncologists’ and oncology nurses’ attitudes and practices towards family involvement in cancer consultations. European Journal of Cancer Care, 26(1), e12470. Web.

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