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Providence St. Peter RN provides support, resources at cancer survivor celebration

Monday July 11, 2011
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When Ann Monaghan, RN, BSN, BA, MPA, gave her mother a copy of a book the oncology nurse co-authored for cancer patients, her mom noted it was full of questions.

Empowering patients with questions to ask their healthcare teams is a major component of “Health Talk: Questions and Tools for Informed and Involved Patients [Cancer edition],” said Monaghan, whose mother is a breast cancer survivor.

Monaghan, senior director of acute care nursing at Providence St. Peter Hospital, was among the speakers June 4 at Providence Regional Cancer System’s first Survivor Celebration. The free event, which took place at Indian Summer Golf & Country Club in Olympia, Wash., coincided with National Cancer Survivors Day on June 5, and included survivors, family members, friends and caregivers.

Patients can sometimes feel uncomfortable bringing up questions to their physicians, Monaghan said, and might not know the right questions to ask.

“Maybe they don’t want to ask a dumb question,” she said. “A lot of people think ‘Maybe I’m supposed to know that.’ The book allows them to know their questions are not dumb.”

Monaghan made the presentation with co-author Pat Justis. The book is available free of charge to Providence Cancer System patients, Monaghan said.

Learn more about National Cancer Survivors Day at www.ncsd.org.

Geneva Slupski is a staff writer.