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ALBEMARLE NEIGHBOR

Pureza helps treat patients during chemotherapy

ANCheryl Pureza.JPG

Cheryl Pureza

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By Anna Goodwin McCarthy
Guest columnist

Saturday, July 15, 2017

With a caring and empathetic attitude, Cheryl Pureza supports her patients in their time of need.

“I do it because I love it,” said Pureza.

As a registered nurse at Virginia Oncology Associates for the last four years, Pureza has helped numerous patients undergoing chemotherapy.

“I work in the treatment room,” said Pureza. “We administer chemotherapy, we give shots and we administer iron treatments.”

“We treat hematology and oncology patients,” said Pureza.

Pureza said patients remain in a large room in comfortable chairs while they undergo treatment. Depending on the treatment some patients may stay from an hour to an entire day. Pureza described the setting where patients are able to communicate, share stories and connect with each other and staff members. She said patients can also use tablets provided by the office during their treatments.

“We see patients on a weekly basis,” said Pureza. “I love that we know our patients on a personal level.”

Pureza said the goal of chemotherapy is to kill cancer cells. “Chemotherapy is not cell specific,” said Pureza. The treatment eliminates the good cells, as well as the bad, and that is what can contribute to patients having reactions like nausea.

Informational handouts and books are provided for patients. Pureza said additional information may be found at the Virginia Oncology Associates website at http://virginiacancer.com/.

Originally from Gates County, Pureza said she knew from a young age she would pursue a career in the health field. She fondly remembers attending a career information fair in elementary school and being inclined toward the nursing field after listening to a representative from a hospital. Pureza earned her degree from College of the Albemarle.

“I’ve been a nurse for 15 years,” said Pureza. “I started my career in cardiac nursing.”

Pureza said she also served as a travel nurse before accepting her position at Virginia Oncology Associates.

Pureza lives in Weeksville with her husband, Carl, and their nine-year-old daughter, Allison.

Pureza said the best aspect of her job is interacting with patients and her co-workers.

“We have a great team,” said Pureza. “We all work together.”

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