Derrick Dawkins, RN
For those who assume that working in oncology nursing is hard, Derrick Dawkins begs to differ. Derrick draws strength from that of his patients and their families and they certainly feel the same about him.
Whether it’s attending weddings, playing golf or a simple dinner with them, Derrick’s caring for his patients extends well beyond administering chemotherapy. He works with those who have leukemia, lymphoma and other blood cancers. When patients first meet with Derrick, he gives them time to talk about how they discovered they had cancer and to discuss the multitude of concerns and feelings they have. He also talks about his own background to put them at ease. His patience and understanding help alleviate their fears in an environment that many at first find frightening.
Derrick says he appreciates how the team-based approach at North Shore University Hospital maximizes the effectiveness of his job. He works closely with physicians, pharmacists and fellow nurses to deliver quality care to patients. It’s an environment that makes for an efficient and therefore faster process for each patient. Derrick expands his oncology knowledge with conferences and seminars and is grateful for the support that North Shore University Hospital has offered him in his professional and personal life.
Derrick initially intended to spend two years in oncology nursing but the bond he’s developed with patients is a powerful one and he now has a 15-year career that he says has brought him a greater appreciation of the simplicities of life. Derrick says at the end of the day he knows he has made a difference for patients and for him that’s the essence of why we are here.