I provide care for patients undergoing oncology treatment for solid tumors. I grew up in an extremely rural area with minimal access to healthcare. For me, the hospital was a very mysterious and scary place. As a nurse and provider, I want to make it a less frightening place for the patients in my care.
My research focuses on adolescents and young adults (AYA) with cancer, sexuality and romantic relationship health, and end of life care. I became interested in the sexuality and romantic relationship health of AYA with cancer when I realized this was a topic we do not discuss often enough. Most health education focuses on sexual risks, such as sexually transmitted disease (STD) prevention, pregnancy prevention or fertility preservation. There is much less focus on sexual function or the development of healthy intimate relationships.
Nurses and other providers are often reluctant to talk about sex. Patients might feel awkward too, but they report wanting more information and discussions with their health teams. I want to explore why providers feel so uncomfortable and develop interventions to help minimize those discomforts and barriers.
I am board certified by the American Nurses Credential Center (ANCC) as a Family Nurse Practitioner (2014).