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2018 Salute to Nurses: A Noozhawk Partnership with Visiting Nurse & Hospice Care

Salute to Nurses 2016: Meet Martha Becker RN Specialist with Cancer Center Radiation Oncology

[Noozhawk’s note: Third in a series.]

As part of National Nurses Month, Noozhawk asked a few local health-care providers to nominate a nurse from their teams to be recognized among Santa Barbara County’s most inspirational nurses.

This is a daunting task to be sure as there are so many nurses who deserve to be honored for the exceptional work they do every day to keep us healthy and happy. Here is a sampling of our brightest stars.

Martha Becker RN Specialist

Cancer Center Radiation Oncology

Among Santa Barbara’s most inspirational nurses is Martha Becker, a dedicated nurse at Sansum Clinic’s Cancer Center of Santa Barbara for the past 18 years.

Beverly Toole, RN manager at the Cancer Center’s Radiation Oncology unit, chose to nominate Becker not only because of her optimistic dedication to her patients, but her healing touch.

“I have watched her countless times take the hand of a terrified patient, newly diagnosed with cancer, and calm them almost instantly with her touch,” she said. “Her smile can brighten up the saddest patient.”

Becker first came to Santa Barbara to study at Westmont College. After two years of feeling uncertain about her career path, she found herself in Santa Barbara City College’s Career Center, looking into the nursing program.

“I had a great-great aunt who was a nurse for the Rockefeller family, so I thought ‘I can do this, it’s in my genes!’” she exclaimed.

And she was right.

During her time at the Cancer Center, Becker has become an integral part of the nursing team.

For Martha Becker, an RN Specialist at Sansum Clinic’s Cancer Center of Santa Barbara, nursing is not just about treating patients. “Being an intimate part of someone’s life as they enter treatment, celebrating with them when they are done, and at times crying with them as they face the end, is a humbling honor I will never be worthy of,” she says. (Becker family photo)
For Martha Becker, an RN Specialist at Sansum Clinic’s Cancer Center of Santa Barbara, nursing is not just about treating patients. “Being an intimate part of someone’s life as they enter treatment, celebrating with them when they are done, and at times crying with them as they face the end, is a humbling honor I will never be worthy of,” she says. (Becker family photo)

“Martha is a special person with a gift that few possess,” Toole noted. “She just has a way with her patients, and they love her.”

And this only becomes more evident when you learn of all the ways that Becker looks out for her patients. One of the most inspirational experiences she says she’s had in her career was when “a young patient ... (became) engaged as her breast cancer returned.”

“We, her nurses, got together and submitted an application to the Dream Foundation on her behalf,” she said. “She was accepted, and they were able to facilitate, literally, a dream wedding and honeymoon. That was an unforgettable experience, and one I will always cherish.”

Sharing the same concerns about health care and insurance access that patients and providers alike face, Becker looks forward to when both of those issues will no longer “be an impediment to giving patients the quality health care they all deserve.”

For Becker, being a nurse is not just about treating patients, but forming relationships with them — “being an intimate part of someone’s life as they enter treatment, celebrating with them when they are done, and at times crying with them as they face the end, is a humbling honor I will never be worthy of.”

We Want to Hear from You

Throughout the month of May, Noozhawk will be celebrating the nursing profession and honoring those who have dedicated their careers to patient care.

In 300 words or less, tell us about a special nurse who provided you or a family member with superior care and comfort. Essays also can be submitted by a nurse’s colleagues.

Include the nurse’s full name, his or her hospital or medical facility, date of interaction, a photograph, and your own contact information, and email the submission to [email protected].

Noozhawk contributing writer Kellie Kreiss can be reached at [email protected]. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkSociety, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Become a fan of Noozhawk on Facebook.

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