From Nurse to Patient: An eye opening twist of fate
When AAMC Breast Center Nurse Navigator Jeanne Morris was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009, it was difficult for her to accept the role reversal.
“It was such a shocking transition from the one caring for patients to the one who needed care,” says Morris. Fortunately for her, the cancer was detected early and she was back to work a few months after surgery and treatment.
For Morris, being a patient among peers was eye-opening. She realized how seemingly minor acts — kind words, a hug, and, most of all, including patients as part of the team — made such a difference. So she directed her experience to help implement patient- and family-centered care at AAMC.
“My experience reminded me that while we may be experts in the medical arena, patients are the experts in regards to their own bodies,” she says. Her work includes collaborating with patient and family advisors on committees throughout the hospital as well as improving practices that engage patients and their families in their overall medical care plan.