Employee Spotlight: Michele shares why she loves Oncology Nursing

Blog Post

“For me, working in Oncology is a very privileged position,” says Michele McKenna, a Registered Nurse at Stanton Territorial Hospital.

“In being an oncology nurse, you really have to bring your positive self every day. You have to be supportive, and the patient needs to feel they can trust you when they are at their most vulnerable.”

Michele dedicates herself to this – to making her patients feel supported and meeting them where they’re at. “My main goal is making them feel that I see them as an individual person, not as their disease. The patients share with me their most intimate fears, worries and also triumphs. When there is something to be celebrated, I make sure we celebrate.”

“I truly feel that I have been blessed with being one of the people that gets to walk this journey with them. To watch them come in here and fight for their life, their children, their family – it’s one of the most surreal experiences one could possibly have. I feel the most connected to the North since becoming an Oncology nurse here at Stanton.”

Michele explains that she has been working at Stanton Territorial Hospital for over 12 years, and in Oncology for the last four years. Her passion is supporting patients on the unit, and making them feel supported and comforted.

“I carry every one of them with me, everyday, and I love it. Watching them has given me strength of my own and a much better view on life  -- all that we are blessed with that is overlooked on a daily basis.”

Michele is also passionate about fitness, and in her free time has been working toward her fitness certification, so that she can implement the nationally recognized EXCEL exercise program, designed to support cancer survivors and those undergoing chemotherapy.

If you or someone you know is being impacted by cancer, contact the Cancer Navigation Program. This program is available to all residents across the NWT – from suspicion of a cancer diagnosis through to palliation and survivorship, and will help you navigate the health care system through your cancer journey.