Providing Critical Care with Compassion

Patients and caregivers come from miles around to receive specialized care available here in Buffalo. For KGH families like the Agrastos, spending day after day in the hospital means that you get to know your providers on a more personal level. Throughout their time at Roswell, they have become particularly close with one of their nurses, Jim. We spoke with Jim Class, RN at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center of more than 30 years (pictured left) about why he loves his job, and the bond he has with his patients:

      • Jim’s background:
        I am a registered nurse at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center in Buffalo NY. I started here in 1991 as a nurse’s aide while I went through nursing school. In 1994 Mary Ann Long (our now-Chief Nursing Officer) hired me as a RN on the leukemia service where I work today. So, at 50 years old I’m in my 31st year of service.
      • What it means to have Kevin Guest House is available for his patients and families:
        Through the years many patients I have cared for and their loved ones have used the Kevin Guest House. Many people must travel a distance from home to get treatment that can easily last 4-6 weeks. Often it is necessary afterward to stay local and have follow up clinic visits before it’s safe to return home. The Kevin Guest House has always been described as a safe place that meets our patients’ requirements for cleanliness and support.
      • On his experience been with Annie & Andy Agrasto:
        I met Annie and Andy Agrasto when Andy was admitted to 5 West for chemotherapy and the recovery that is required from it. They live two to three hours away and Annie is staying at the Kevin Guest House where Andy will join her once he is discharged. From the first moment I saw Andy he drew your attention with a big, hearty hello and smile. His robust, outgoing personality draws you in as it puts a smile on your face. I spent many days with Andy and his wife as their nurse. Their resilience and strength after all they have gone through is inspirational.
      • Jim’s favorite thing about being a nurse:
        There are many challenging and difficult things about being a nurse today. However, I can say confidently that my favorite part about being a nurse is the great people I get to meet and spend time with. As a bedside nurse you can often not fix or change the big problems in someone’s life but you can help them through their day by being a good listener and being kind.
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