Care with a Personal Touch.
When Joline Bell was in high school, her mom, a nurse, offered her some advice, “Don’t be a nurse. It takes over your whole life.”
She considered teaching for a moment, then applied to nursing school.
Joline has spent her entire career in oncology. She’s been here at the Simcoe Muskoka Regional Cancer Centre at RVH since it opened in 2012.
Joline Bell, third from the left, is surrounded by her Cancer Centre colleagues
During her 24 years on the job, she’s seen cancer care evolve.
“When I first started, there were certain cancers that you automatically associated with the worst outcome,” she explains. “With new therapies and new drugs, that’s no longer the case. Patients are now living with these kinds of cancers and living a long time.”
A typical day for Joline starts at 8 am. She begins by ensuring the chemotherapy clinic is ready for the day. She coordinates the clinic’s day-to-day operations and because she’s chemotherapy-certified, she can help the other nurses throughout the day.
“I like to talk to everyone,” she says with a big smile.
Before her role on the oncology systemic therapy floor, she worked alongside the oncologist team, meeting with patients, helping to plan and implement their care and providing emotional support.
“To me, one of the best things about RVH’s Cancer Centre is the continuity of care,” she shares. “In a lot of the bigger centres, you don’t have a dedicated oncologist and nursing team that you see regularly. Here, we get to know our patients, they get to know us. We go through all the emotions together. I’m not afraid to cry alongside a patient when they get hard news and, on the flip side, I celebrate just as big when that news is positive.”
Joline’s husband, Phil, is one of her biggest supporters. She also has three children, all of whom, like her, have a love of sports. She’s spent many hours in the car shuttling her kids to and from their games.
“I’ve had some of the best conversations with my kids on the way to hockey or basketball,” she states. “I think of how important these moments are to me and I relate that to what my patients are experiencing. I’m human. We’re real and we have emotions. You can imagine yourself in their situations.”
Joline is the first to acknowledge that, in addition to the patients, her colleagues are what makes the Cancer Centre special. They have a passion for the work and compassion for the people they are caring for.
“I’m just one part of a team of incredible people who do what we can, so our patients don’t feel like they are alone on this journey,” she says. “We’re right there with them.”
While she’s always known what her mom meant by her career advice, now she understands it more deeply. Nursing is an all-encompassing living that takes up space in both your head and your heart.
Have you received excellent care from a member of our talented care team? Someone like Joline? You can make a gift in their honour, helping to provide much-needed funds for ongoing needs like new equipment, technology, enhanced spaces and more. Make a donation in honour of your care hero!