I can totally relate on both sides. I am a nurse but also a cancer patient. I know that patients see the nurses more than the doctor does. And I worked the night shift, which I hated to wake patients during the night, but we have to check and make sure things are okay. Sometimes it takes more than just seeing someone sleeping to see that they are okay. I've had patients with extremely high blood pressure needing immediate intervention sleeping peacefully. But by getting their blood pressure, I was able to see that they were actually in crisis. That's only one example, and it doesn't happen often, but you never know when it will happen. Hence, the frequent checking, especially after surgery.
The nurses in the Cancer Center have been wonderful, treating me more as a casual friend than a patient. They still give me all of the information I need about the treatments and their effects, but they are friendly and focus on me while they are with me. An important thing is for us to feel that we are important and so are our feelings and the things we talk about. They don't interrupt me to answer their phone if it rings, they wait until I am done. I don't think that it is because they know I'm a nurse, because I see them treat others with the same respect. The other staff have treated me with dignity and respect, which is what I ask. Everyone is helpful, informative, and friendly.