written by Maisen Conley
Hello! My name is Maisen Conley and I am a nursing student at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. I have been interning at Cancer Support Community East Tennessee (CSCET) since August 2019.
Part of my nursing curriculum is to acquire hours for academic service learning or ASL. The purpose of the ASL is to engage in the community and learn about a unique demographic of people and their needs, which will help make me a better. Prior to graduation, I will take all of my experiences at CSCET and write a research topic on a recurring concept in the CSCET member’s experience and how I could help address that as a nurse.
I remember my first day coming to work at CSCET. I genuinely did not know what to expect. When I entered the building, I quite honestly thought I may have walked into the wrong place! There were couches, rugs, bookcases, and side tables. It appeared almost as if I walked into my own living room. A sense of home and comfort filled each space. When I thought of working with people living with cancer, I initially thought of hospitals and doctor’s offices – not living rooms and comfy spaces. After an orientation from CSCET staff, I learned that one of the main goals of CSCET is to be a safe, warm, and welcoming place and I instantly fell in love with that concept.
My role at CSCET is participating in the free programs offered to the members. I help set up for various programs and get to observe and even occasionally participate in the classes. While I have enjoyed learning to knit and eating wonderful food at the pot lucks, my goal is actually much more than mastering a knitting stitch.
Each time I attend a program I learn something new and gain a better understanding of what it is like for people living with cancer. I enjoy listening to and learning from the members’ experiences and truly believe what I learn at CSCET will make me a better nurse and help me to better serve my patients one day. If you see me around CSCET, please feel free to say hello!