When a patient comes to the Multispecialty Clinic on the 4th floor of Smilow Cancer Hospital, it may be for several reasons; a follow-up with their doctor, a biopsy, or to hear the results of a recent test. Whatever the reason, Medical Assistant, Nicole Scott, will be there to ensure that they are comfortable and taken care of.
Nicole began her career 15 years ago and has worked her way up to where she is today. She has been in her current position since December 2010. In her role she interacts with patients all day, showing them to their rooms, performing clinical tasks such as EKGs and taking vitals, and assisting doctors during procedures. Most importantly, she is an advocate for patients.
"We try to provide a family atmosphere for our patients here," explained Nicole. "We are the first impression people get when they come in before they meet with their doctor. There are a lot of clinical tasks that we perform, but also a lot of hand-holding, listening, and overall emotional support."
Every Friday Nicole and her colleagues wear 'cancer colors' to show their support of their patients. One day they will all wear orange in support of kidney cancer, and another day purple for pancreatic cancer. Nicole commented that it gives patients a sense that they are not only being cared for, but cared about as well.
Nicole is constantly aware of the reason why patients come to see her each day; they are dealing with a diagnosis of cancer, and sometimes it is life threatening. Even though Nicole deals with death on a daily basis, she loves what she does. "I followed my dream and today I am not doing what I like to do, but what I love to do, and to me that's the most important thing." If anyone around her is having a bad day, she reminds them of the day in a life of a cancer patient, having to come in for treatments, or to find out if their cancer has spread, and the reward that Nicole gets from her job is simple; a smile. To her a smile from a cancer patient means that she is doing something right and reminds her of the strength that each patient has.
Michelle Wilson, MHSA, FACHE, Nicole's manager at Smilow, commented on Nicole's ability to provide patients with a sense of calm during a difficult time in their lives. "She loves caring for patients, and physicians and advanced practice providers enjoy working with her because she keeps clinic flow moving with efficiency and a sense of humor. Nicole advances the patient-centered mission of Yale Cancer Center and Smilow Cancer Hospital each and every day, and for that she is to be commended."