Minnesota Oncology St. Paul Cancer Center radiation oncology nurse Sarah Myers was recently named a finalist in the Cancer Care category in the Mpls. St. Paul Magazine’s 2019 Outstanding Nurse Awards. According to the magazine, “These awards are designed to honor nurses who are impacting our community in clinics, hospitals, classrooms, and beyond."
Myers, who joined the St. Paul Cancer Center staff two years ago, is no stranger to nursing but is still relatively new to oncology. “I still feel like a newbie much of the time,” she says. “I’m still learning.” A 41-year veteran of nursing, Myers spent most of her career as a critical care nurse, working in intensive care, pre-op, and post-anesthesia recovery. A Florida native, she has spent most of her nursing career here in Minnesota after earning her nursing degree in Florida and working for a time in North Carolina.
“I never thought I’d be working in cancer care,” Myers says. “This opportunity came along. I wanted to change directions. I wanted a challenge.”
While she says working oncology is certainly very challenging, Myers says it has also been extremely rewarding. The best part of the job? “Everything,” she says. “First and foremost, it is helping our patients. I am privileged to help them and their families through this most devastating time in their lives.”
Myers says she also loves the collaborative aspect of her role. “As a nurse, this is the first time I’ve really felt that my role was valued, and that I have something to offer – not just to patients but to the team.”
Radiation oncology is very collaborative overall, she says. “So everyday I’m working with many people within team: the CT team, the radiation therapists, the doctors, the dosimetrists and the physicists.” In addition, she has the opportunity to work closely with other areas of the clinic such as the medical oncology and gynecologic oncology teams.
Myers was selected among a pool of nominations that were “assessed on an eight-point rubric that included professionalism, interaction with patients and families, credentials and experience, initiative and commitment, impact on an organization, leadership, and an ‘it’ factor exemplifying kindness, compassion, and empathy,” according to Mpls. St. Paul Magazine.
“Sarah has an unbridled passion for life and for making a difference,” said Julie Tyren, Minnesota Oncology St. Paul Cancer Center practice administrator. “She is confident, compassionate and brings a level of enthusiasm to work that is contagious. She is a stabilizing and supportive force for all of us that are blessed to work with her each day. She is one in a million and it makes me proud to know she chooses to work for Minnesota Oncology in St. Paul!”
St. Paul Cancer Center radiation oncologist Ryan Youland, MD, nominated Myers for the award. “I nominated her because she is the most engaged and caring RN I have had the pleasure of working with,” Dr. Youland said. “She exemplifies a rare combination of compassion, respect and determination that benefits our patients on a daily basis. She never backs down from a challenge and her clinical knowledge is exemplary.”
Myers says she is still shocked a little overwhelmed by the recognition. “I’m very, very humbled, grateful and honored.”
Outstanding Nurses Award winners will be announced in August at a special event at the Edina Country Club. Read more here.