Working in oncology as a nurse or a CNA means you’ll be able to provide care for patients who are at risk for getting or suffering from cancer. It’s a specialty that not every health care assistant is ready for though, and you may not be sure if it’s the right option for you.
Nursing Job Opportunities: Is Oncology for you?
When many nurses and CNAs think about working in a specialty like oncology, they begin to feel a range of emotions. They feel sad and frustrated for their patients as they think of the life-altering illness they are experiencing and the pain they must be going through. While there will definitely be days where you experience this and see this in the eyes of your patients, oncology isn’t all bad. In fact, it can be inspiring.
Working with patients who are facing a horrible, and sometimes terminal, disease, gives you the opportunity to see the strength and courage real people can have. In their sickest hours, many treat the time they have as precious. They make huge decisions on behalf of their families, and force themselves to keep eating and breathing so they can continue to spend as much time as possible with their loved ones.
Watching them, and taking care of them after nursing school or CNA training can be extremely rewarding and an inspiration.
While the patients may inspire you to live every day like it’s your last, the staff you work with in this unit will teach you to embrace those around you and rely on the help of others. In this specialty, you have to work as a team. It doesn’t matter if you’re a nurse, a case manager, a social worker, or a CNA; everyone works together to take care of every need a cancer patient has. You’ll develop friendships stitched together by tears, companionship, and stress.
Where you Work
Cancer isn’t a disease that can be taken care of in a hospital overnight. It follows patients home and through every aspect of their lives. For this reason, nurses and CNAs are needed in oncology care in hospitals, outpatient care facilities, physician’s offices, and even in the home. When you enter this field, you can choose where you want to work and how you want to help others.
Pay Scale for Nurses
As an oncology nurse, you can earn between $44,000 and $57,000 a year, depending on which location you choose to work, your particular state, and your credentials. You’ll most likely earn more if you become an RN and get an Oncology Nurse Certification. This will establish you as an OCN, or Oncology Certified Nurse.
As a CNA working in oncology, you can expect to earn anywhere from $23,000 to $44,000. The amount will depend on your experience, your location, and your education. If you’re willing to continue your training and earn certifications related to oncology, you may be able to earn more.
Nursing Job Opportunities: Working With Cancer Patients
Working with patients who suffer from cancer may be frustrating and sad at times, but it can also be one of the best experiences you ever have. If you want to earn more and be inspired every single day you work, oncology may be one of the best nursing job opportunities.