A passion for nursing translates into loving her life's work
Mihkai never imagined she would fall in love with cancer nursing, aspiring instead to serve patients in a Trauma or Burn setting. In fact, when she was assigned to the Oncology Unit as a Nursing Technician after working the summer before on the Cardiac Unit, she was disappointed… It only took a couple shifts on the Oncology Unit, however, for her to fall in love with the patients and the nurses that cared for them. Mihkai did a Bone Marrow Transplant clinical rotation in her senior year of nursing school at Texas Christian University and never looked back.
Mihkai has spent the majority of her 19-year career at the University of Washington Medical Center and the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance in various inpatient and outpatient roles caring for patients with leukemia and those undergoing transplantation. She earned her Master’s Degree in Oncology Nursing in 2002.
Over the years, Mihkai’s passion for nursing those undergoing treatment with a Bone Marrow Transplant has continued to grow. The privilege of being invited to bear witness to both the suffering and the growth that patients experience is a gift that continues to humble and inspire her. Over the years, Mihkai has had the opportunity to provide Seattle Cancer Care Alliance nurses continuing education on the care of those undergoing bone marrow transplantation and has been a Clinical Instructor working with SPU senior nursing students. These opportunities have afforded her the opportunity to share her love of oncology and transplant nursing with those who are new to the field. Her favorite part of being a nurse is providing education to patients and their loved ones about their disease and treatments and helping them find ways to increase their resilience during their cancer experience.
Mihkai enjoys the interactions with patients and providers in her current role as an LTFU Telemedicine nurse and feels especially rewarded when she can assist in finding resources to solve the Quality of Life concerns that patients face after transplant.
Away from work, Mihkai is busy raising her three small children together with her husband. When she can find a spare moment for herself, she enjoys reading and sewing. She is also an avid eater and loves to think about, grow, read about, prepare and eat good food.