Pamela Grosso, RN, OCN
Regional Director Oncology Clinical Operations, Summit Medical Group Cancer Center, Florham Park
Hometown: Florham Park
Grosso chose nursing “because it brings together my love of science and desire to make an impact and a difference in people’s lives.”
After being an oncology nurse for 38 years, Grosso was diagnosed with breast cancer shortly before the novel coronavirus outbreak. But that didn’t stop her from caring for patients—after chemotherapy and a lumpectomy, she was back at work.
“The COVID-19 pandemic made it that much more important to protect the vulnerable oncology patient population,” she says.
“At Summit Medical Group, we were taking proactive actions at the beginning of the pandemic to ensure the safety of our patients, care teams and employees, including masking policies, screening anyone entering the cancer center, and testing our chemotherapy patients before their treatments to avoid giving chemotherapy to asymptomatic COVID-19 positive patients which could cause them to become very ill.”
As for how she found the strength to help others while going through her own cancer ordeal, Grosso says it actually helped her.
“After the surgery, I felt good enough to be back to work eight days later. The truth is that I found refuge in my work, where I have an amazing tribe who helped me through my own cancer journey. Getting back to work helped me to focus on something other than myself and concentrate on the greater good of our patients. I’ve had the unique opportunity to battle cancer both as a nurse and as a patient during this unusual time.”
Grosso says that when it comes to helping patients, science is the starting point, but that there’s an “art” to caring for patients.
“Some people think it’s emotionally difficult to be a cancer nurse,” she says. “While it can be emotional at times, I focus on the opportunity to provide support to those when they are perhaps at their most vulnerable and I do what I can to spread positivity and hope to help people.”