When Emily Boettcher, B.S.N., R.N., O.C.N., B.M.T.C.N., came to City of Hope’s bone marrow transplant unit, she thought she was signing on for a short-term job of maybe a few months to a year.
That was more than five years ago.
“I love the connection you get with patients who are here for a longer period of time,” said the Minnesota native, who had worked with the bone marrow transplant (BMT) population before City of Hope. “So when my husband’s job brought us to Los Angeles, I applied for oncology positions. But we thought we would be returning.”
Instead, they found they liked Los Angeles, and Boettcher said part of the appeal was how much she likes City of Hope’s “full-team approach” to patients struggling through the difficulties of BMT therapy. “There is total focus on the patient and family. You have mothers who cannot see their kids. You have patients with eight different IVs and different medications. It’s complicated, but the goal of everyone here at City of Hope is focused on getting the patient through it with a lot of support.”
Boettcher, who is certified in both oncology nursing and BMT nursing, also takes advantage of opportunities for bedside nurses to become involved in nursing decisions. She works on the 5W unit-based council and often serves as the unit’s charge nurse.
What keeps her at City of Hope, however, is that, “You see a lot of success here. You have patients returning all the time who come back and say, ‘You saved my life,’ or, ‘You got me through a double core transplant, and I was able to help my husband run for mayor.’”
That, she said, is what makes her work so satisfying. “It’s why we do what we do.”