It turns out it also comes in handy when advocating for patients, working in patient education, helping peers evaluate their practice and speaking at conferences.
Just ask Emily Ganley, B.S.N., R.N., who performed opera before becoming a nurse at City of Hope and still sings in musical theater and a gospel band.
“With a performance background, I’m not afraid to put myself out there,” said Ganley, who graduated from Sonoma State University with a degree in classical vocal performance.
Ganley never expected to enter nursing. But after helping both her children survive serious health issues, “I realized I was good at advocating and helping people understand medical processes,” she said. “It was the silver lining.”
Although she said she “never had oncology on my radar as I went into nursing,” Ganley’s first job in the field was in the bone marrow transplant outpatient clinic at City of Hope. Now nine years later, she said, “I can’t imagine ever leaving. It’s challenging and fascinating, and I just want to become an expert in all of it.”
Ganley has already received several awards for her work, including the Daisy Award and the Southern California Cancer Pain Initiative Award for Cancer Palliative Care. She spoke at City of Hope’s annual hematology conference on management of side effects from long-term steroid use, and serves as a peer counselor for the nursing peer review program at City of Hope.
It is her patients, she said, that inspire her. “This job has made me passionate about the individual people, about the stories and goals they have, about human resilience and strength, and rising to the occasion. They have incredible lives and stories, and I am grateful to be part of their path, because it gives me hope.”