Janet Gallant Wood, MSN, ANP-BC, Nurse Practitioner, Gynecologic Oncology at the Winchester Hospital Center for Cancer Care, has never questioned her choice to work in health care. She did wonder at one point, though, whether to become a doctor or a nurse. She ultimately chose nursing because, at the time, it allowed her to treat people as a whole rather than just the specific disease they were facing. A lot has changed in medicine in the 30+ years Janet has been practicing, but nursing remains the best fit for her.
“Nursing is the perfect blend of loving the science of medicine and the art of healing,” she says.
The art of healing, in Janet’s opinion, requires one key element: compassion.
“When you are experiencing a cancer diagnosis, you can feel fractured,” Janet says. “You may feel you can’t fulfill your roles of mother, wife, daughter…you can feel all these cracks in your life. Compassion fills in these cracks.”
It’s also easy to feel lost when undergoing treatment for cancer, Janet says. That is part of why Janet truly values community-based care and the Lahey Health Cancer Institute, which provides patients with state-of-the-art care close to home. Patients of the Institute benefit from being part of a health system which gives them access to clincians and caregivers who can address almost every aspect of their care, from oncology to cardiology, internal medicine and behavorial services.
“The benefit [of being part of the Lahey system] is we can connect you to a wider network of not only experts in their field, but compassionate experts who share a similar philosophy,” says Janet. “It’s our job to accept responsibility of you in total,” she adds. “You won’t fall through the cracks — you’re held.”