Faces of Cedars-Sinai: Cancer Nurse Angela Schleuniger
Oct 14, 2019 Katie Rosenblum
Meet Angela Schleuniger!
We sat down with the South Bay native to learn more about how she spends her free time and how she's making an impact on cancer research.
"I really enjoy educating and empowering my patients so they feel like they're a part of their care team. I like to make sure my patients know I'm on this journey with them and I'm on their team."
What made you want to become a nurse?
Angela Schleuniger: I went to school for kinesiology and I was a cross-country runner at the time. When I was done with school, I had the choice to go pro as a runner or move toward a career.
I volunteered for a while as a veterinary tech and then volunteered at a hospital in the ER. I saw how hands-on the nurses were there and how much they did for patients, and I liked the idea of being front and center with patients.
How do you manage the stress of your high-pressure job?
AS: I discovered yoga a few years ago.
At first, I thought it was too slow for me, but after working in the fast-paced environment here, I needed something to help me slow down and calm my mind.
Last year, I got certified and now I teach on the weekends.
I love the biomechanics of it, the therapeutic aspect of it, and I enjoy the mind/body connection, too. I like to say that yoga is my church.
Tell me about your fundraising efforts to support cancer research.
AS: A few years ago, I had a patient who had a poster of Kilimanjaro in her room and we got to talking about it. She told me that when she was done with her cancer treatment, she was going to hike it and I jokingly said, "Can I come?"
But 2 years later we decided to do it. We set a goal of raising $1 million for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and climbed Kilimanjaro in 2017.
To date, we've raised more than $2 million that has gone towards cancer research.
What do you love most about your job?
AS: The connection I make with patients.
I really enjoy educating and empowering my patients so they feel like they're a part of their care team. I like to make sure my patients know I'm on this journey with them and I'm on their team.
Somebody asked me why I would go into oncology because it can be hard. I told them there are so many milestones in life and dying is one of them.
So even if a patient is dying, I'm honored to be there for them and help them and their families through it. But we also have so many happy moments, and so many of our patients go on to live healthy, fulfilling lives.