Internet and web-based programs are becoming increasingly important resources in career training, including for oncology nursing.

However, training in supportive oncology can still pose challenges. Researchers studied how institutions used web-based oncology training for healthcare professionals (HCPs) and presented their findings on Monday, June 4, at the 2018 American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting.

The study, which was funded by the Coleman Foundation, included more than 30 clinicians from 25 institutions (academic, community, and safety net). The group developed an easy-to-use, online supportive oncology training curriculum.

Researchers evaluated completion rates of survivorship and supportive oncology education courses (see Table 1) using simple frequencies, based on data provided by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) Continuing Education team.

Results showed that more than 4,748 online courses were completed of 7,184 courses accessed (66%). “Course completion” was defined as fulfilling each of the following steps:

  • Pretest
  • Course
  • Post-test
  • Evaluation

Of the 4,748 completed courses, nurses completed 45%, physicians completed 17%, advance practice clinicians completed 16%, and others (e.g., social workers, chaplains) completed 22%. When articles describing collaborative work were published in oncology nursing periodicals, the course completion rate improved to 69% (p = 0.0014).

“A variety of HCPs successfully completed supportive oncology education via the NCCN’s education portal,” the authors said. “These online courses are an efficient way to train HCPs in supportive oncology. Curriculum advertising improves course completion.”

ONS provides online courses for oncology nurses addressing all areas of practice, from chemotherapy administration to certification review prep to breast cancer care to cancer biology and more. Browse the full course listing.

Table 1. Online Education Courses and Completion Rates

Education Course

Accessed

Completed

Completion Rate

Distress: Impact on Care, Screening For, and Addressing

621

456

73%

Survivorship Factors: Lifestyle/Behavior, Psychosocial Challenges, Late and Long-Term Effects

569

404

71%

Primary Palliative Care Versus Specialized Palliative Care and Reasons to Refer to Hospice and Palliative Care

465

324

70%

Cancer Survivorship Defined, Patient Needs, and CoC Requirements for Care Plans

584

405

69%

Supportive Care and Documenting Patients’ Supportive Needs

507

350

69%

How to Discuss Practical and Family Concerns

384

263

68%

Comprehensive Care for Cancer Survivors

485

326

67%

Cancer Survivor Screening and Genetic Testing

523

341

65%

Pain Assessment: The Basics

542

352

65%

Nausea/Vomiting, Constipation, Dyspnea, and Shortness of Breath

690

441

64%

Goals of Care and Advance Care Planning Over Time

408

248

61%

Pain Management: Beyond the Basics

619

373

60%

POLST Paradigm: Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment Paradigm

284

169

60%

How to Communicate Prognosis

503

296

59%

TOTALS

7,184

4,748

66%

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