Posted: September 11, 2018

After a lengthy career as a frontline provider in Grand River Hospital’s busy emergency department, Corina Gebauer has come back home to cancer care… in a manner of speaking.

As a registered nurse, she spent the early part of her career caring for GRH cancer patients prior to the development of the Grand River Regional Cancer Centre.

A portrait of nurse practitioner Corina Gebauer

She then moved to the hospital’s busy emergency department, and furthered her education to become a nurse practitioner.

Now as the hospital’s malignant hematology nurse practitioner, she’s back in the cancer program supporting patients with blood-borne cancer.

Corina enjoys the opportunity to follow up with patients through their care, and make sure their treatments are proceeding well without the need for a hospital admission.

How did you become interested in oncology?

I have a passion for malignant hematology that developed very early in my nursing career. My very first shift at this hospital as a brand new grad, I was asked to work nights on the six bed oncology unit. I met the oncology nurses and was amazed at their knowledge and dedication to their patients.

I spent the next five years learning and growing on that unit and established myself as a hematology/oncology nurse. Those nurses and the patients I cared for early in my career helped me evolve into the nurse I am today.

I worked to obtain my Canadian Nursing Association certification and certification in chemotherapy administration. I played an active role in the development of our outpatient chemotherapy clinic and participated in the development of the Grand River Regional Cancer Centre that was just in the planning stage at that time.

How did you become a nurse practitioner?

I had been working as a registered nurse for 15 years at GRH; I wanted to expand on my current knowledge and practice and I had the opportunity to do this in the emergency department. The role of the NP in the emergency department was evolving and it was a good fit for me, my family and the department I worked in.

You had a lengthy career in the emergency department. What did you enjoy about providing care there? 

I worked with an amazing team in the emergency. They are a very dedicated group. They work well together collaboratively to ensure that each unique patient’s needs are met.

Over the years, I have watched the emergency team grow and expand; I have developed some very good professional relationships and friendships that I will take with me moving forward. I grew a lot professionally working with the ER team; I was proud to be part of that team and was very proud of the care we provided to our community.

A portrait of Corina Gebauer in GRH's cancer centre
How do you support patients in your new role?

I am working with GRRCC’s hematology team in developing an outpatient acute leukemia program. It enables our patients to receive their consolidation chemotherapy cycles (treatments to help a patient stay in remission) as outpatients while maintaining close follow-up without having to be in hospital for lengthy admissions.

What’s the biggest difference you’ve encountered in your career transition?

It’s been a humbling experience moving from being an expert in my field into a field that isn’t exactly new to me but has expanded dramatically with the development of the Grand River Regional Cancer Centre.

What keeps you excited about being a nurse practitioner?

The constant changes in medicine, the patients I meet every day and the professional relationships I have developed and continue to develop.

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