by Kendra Thompson
Although his mom was a nurse, Patrick Nobles, RN, didn’t grow up thinking he would be one too. He was originally interested in communications and even graduated from Southeastern Oklahoma University with a bachelor’s degree in communications. However, after working in retail for a few years, he decided he wanted something more.
“My mother inspired me to look into nursing,” says Patrick. “I say that nursing found me. I started classes because nursing was a stable career, and along the way, I fell in love with the work. During nursing school, my first patient care experience was on an oncology floor, which I found intriguing. And then later in my nursing program, both my uncle and grandfather died of cancer, which is ultimately what led me to want to work in oncology.”
Patrick went on to graduate from the University of Texas in Tyler with his Bachelor of Science degree in nursing. After graduation, he moved to Tulsa and worked on the oncology floor at Saint Francis Hospital where he was a charge nurse and then worked in the stem cell unit. He then joined Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) in Tulsa in 2012.
CTCA is a hospital-partner with the international DAISY Award program, which highlights and rewards one nurse per quarter for extraordinary, compassionate and skillful care demonstrated in their everyday work. Recently, Patrick was recognized with a DAISY Award because of his stellar work as a nurse. A CTCA patient’s caregiver nominated Patrick saying he was “very caring to my mother after her 17-hour surgery. He allowed my family, especially my 14-year-old son, to be a part of the caring process. Patrick gave him step-by-step lessons on which medications would be given and what the medications were for, as well as explained what every machine did and what they were used for. The information was very empowering for our family, even with one of my sisters being a nurse. The level of care made us all the more comfortable with being able to provide care for my mother when we returned home.”
Patrick has worked in oncology his entire career, and feels that it is a “calling.” He adds, “It’s not an area you just get into.”
While at CTCA in Tulsa, Patrick has worked in several areas, including the inpatient department, stem cell unit and has also helped with infusion and medical support, all at night. “If it’s a nightly nurse duty, I’ve just about done it all,” says Patrick.
For those interested in a nursing career, Patrick advises, “Be prepared to have your mind expanded. Your thought processes will be changed, and your expectations will be challenged. Know that your heart will be filled, and that it may hurt a little, but it is all worth it. Also, make sure that you go in with your sense of humor firmly intact. Laughing in the darkness will save you, and helping a patient laugh in the middle of all they go through is priceless.” Although nursing tends to be a female-dominated field, Patrick says it has a place for everyone. “If you like action and adventure, then the emergency room is the place to be. If you like logic and critical thinking, then the Intensive Care Unit is a great place. If you like travel and something new daily, travel or flight nursing is an option. If you feel called to give great care, then the whole world is open to you. I think that nursing can be for everyone, regardless of gender.”
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