A combination of intensive chemotherapy immunotherapy administration education and shorter training on oncology symptom management can prepare correctional facility nurses to safely care for patients with cancer in the community, according to presenters in an oral abstract session at the 48th Annual ONS Congress® in April 2023.

ONS members Amber Williams, MSN, RN, OCN®, and Jessica Dove, BSN, RN, OCN®, both oncology nurse educators, identified an opportunity for community outreach and collaboration with a nearby correctional facility to meet the needs for patient care and nursing education. They visited the facility to develop a comprehensive learning needs assessment, then created two interventions:

  • Delivering their cancer center’s two-day chemotherapy immunotherapy course on site at the correctional facility
  • Developing a new half-day oncology symptom management course specifically for correctional facility nurses

Seven nurses completed the two-day treatment course and successfully passed the post-test. Those required to administer infusions also completed competency assessments in their infusion area after the course. Six nurses completed the half-day symptom course. The nurse educators have future training dates scheduled at the facility.

“Assisting and educating the nurses at the correctional facility helped to meet their educational needs and provided a collaborative service to the nurses and their patients,” the presenters said. “We were able to strengthen a partnership with this facility and staff."