A Compassionate Soul's Commitment to Patients

The diagnosis of cancer brings a great burden to the lives of patients and their families. Patients must endure a battery of tests, procedures and a sense of unknowing. The Cancer Center of Thibodaux Regional not only offers the highest level of care and technology in the bayou region, but physicians and staff work to provide the most positive experience possible for patients.

While the Cancer Center of Thibodaux Regional provides advanced technology in comfortable surroundings, the uniqueness of the care given is largely due to the dedicated and experienced staff and physicians who work closely together to build a first-rate program.

Therapists, nurses and physicians at the Cancer Center of Thibodaux Regional share one common passion: caring for patients. To provide an extra layer of support for patients, staff members also earn advanced certifications in their fields to provide patients with a greater level of care. Staff members place an emphasis on customer service and treat patients with compassion and respect.

Because the staff understands that treatments such as chemotherapy can be stressful for patients, visitors are also welcome during chemotherapy infusions to offer comfort. One of the dedicated staff members, Gwen Poiencot, RN, has 21 years of oncology experience and serves as an advocate for patients by providing education and support.

“I develop very close relationships with all of my patients,” Poiencot says. “I don’t view them as patients—they are a part of the family here. My patients give me strength, independence and courage through the dignity they show when battling cancer. I couldn’t see myself working in any other field.”

Poiencot tells her story even better with the letter below:

When a patient is given the diagnosis of cancer, they embark on a difficult journey into the unknown filled with so much overwhelming emotion for one person to travel alone. This is pretty much how they feel, isolated and alone and full of fear. This journey will take them and their loved ones on many bumps, detours, roadblocks, hills and valleys. This is new and uncharted territory for all involved, with each person going through their own emotional roller coaster, not knowing what to say or what to do to help each other.

The part the nurse plays in their lives is one of the guide, or navigator, and companion. The nurse travels this journey with them, holding their hands as he/she shows them the different paths available to them and how to maneuver around the many roadblocks they will approach. The nurse supports them through the valleys and cheers them on when they reach the hills.

We listen, are ever present and reassure them they are not alone and will not be alone in this journey of emotional and physical pain. We offer encouragement when the long journey tires them and they feel like quitting.

We are there to witness the wonderful sense of accomplishment when they complete their journey, their sense of pride that they did it despite the earlier fears and beautiful transformation into acceptance when the journey goes into a different avenue.

They in turn teach the nurse all of the important lessons they learned about the new beginning of their lives from this day forward, and the changes they have made to make the most of what has been given them, through their travels together.

In this close relationship we develop a respect and love that lasts forever. The nurse, patient and family become a unit, extended family, a bond difficult to break. These are the good things cancer brings about.

Gwen Poiencot, RN

Poiencot is only one of the dedicated souls at the Cancer Center of Thibodaux Regional that not only provides quality care, but emotional support to those who need it at this pressing time in their lives. To learn more about the staff and services available at the Cancer Center of Thibodaux Regional call (985) 493-4700 or visit us at www.thibodaux.com/cancer.

About Thibodaux Regional Health System

Thibodaux Regional Health System, a 185-bed acute care facility, provides inpatient and outpatient care for the people of Lafourche and seven surrounding parishes. Highly specialized services offered include Heart Surgery, Medical and Radiation Oncology, Neurology, Neurosurgery, Orthopedic Surgery, Sports Medicine, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, General, Laparoscopic, and Bariatric Surgery, Pulmonology, Rheumatology, Women’s Services, Sleep Disorders, Behavioral Health, and Inpatient and Outpatient Physical Rehabilitation Services.

Nationally recognized for quality care and service, Thibodaux Regional has been named a Distinguished Hospital by J.D. Power and Associates and has been honored with the Press Ganey Summit Award for high levels of patient satisfaction. In 2009, Thibodaux Regional received the Outstanding Achievement Award from the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer for the second time and is the only hospital in Louisiana to do so.