Melissa Winckler, DNP, FNP-C, ARNP
I began my career as a nurse in oncology, so I’ve always loved working with patients who are dealing with cancer diagnoses. When I went back to graduate school to become a nurse practitioner, I continued to feel drawn toward this field, yet I also wanted to work in an inpatient setting. Many of the patients I work with now are experiencing acute problems related to their diagnosis or treatment. It’s rewarding to apply critical thinking skills and collaborate with team members — and patients themselves — to help solve these problems. I witness patients facing some of the hardest days of their lives, and they do it with such grace, kindness and compassion. It’s truly a gift to come to work every day.
Patients face many unknowns as they pursue cancer treatment, and that can feel daunting. I strive to help patients and families break the experience down into smaller, more manageable chunks and to focus on what’s in front of them in the moment rather than the entirety of the long road ahead. Sometimes a “good” day can be defined by setting and achieving small goals, such as getting a troublesome symptom under control or even developing a better understanding of one’s diagnosis.
I am an advanced registered nurse practitioner with a doctorate in nursing practice. As a member of SCCA’s hematology-oncology platinum service, I provide care for patients with a variety of cancers and benign conditions who have been admitted to UW Medical Center. My approach to care is based on clear communication and collaborative decision-making. I believe it’s important for each patient, their family and their health care team to work together to come up with a plan of care that keeps the patient’s best interests and goals in mind.
We make promising new treatments available to you through studies called clinical trials led by SCCA doctors. Many of these trials at SCCA have led to FDA-approved treatments and have improved standards of care globally. Together, you and your doctor can decide if a study is right for you.
Your care team
SCCA accepts most national private health insurance plans as well as Medicare. We also accept Medicaid for people from Washington, Alaska, Montana and Idaho. We are working to ensure that everyone, no matter what their financial situation, has access to the care they need.