FDA Provides COVID-19 Guidelines for Patients With Cancer and Healthcare Providers
As the United States combats the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, federal agencies like the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) Oncology Center of Excellence (OCE) are reassuring specific populations, such as those in the cancer community, that the agency is still patient-centered in its mission.
Once a Nurse, Always a Nurse
“Desperate times breed desperate measures." —William Shakespeare
Today is an unprecedented time in history: the COVID-19 coronavirus has changed the world as we know it. The United States faces a challenge unlike anything we’ve ever experienced, especially on our soil. We will lose many lives. Living in New Rochelle, NY, has made me acutely aware of this, perhaps before many other parts of the country.
CDC Releases Healthcare Professional Preparedness Checklist for COVID-19
Although many federal health agencies are involved in the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, central to every discussion has been the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Charged with the safety of the American public’s health, CDC is spearheading the United States’ epidemiologic approach, including how healthcare workers should recognize, test for, report, and respond to the coronavirus.
NINR Acting Director Responds to COVID-19 Pandemic
Tara Schwetz, PhD, acting director of the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR), issued a statement acknowledging the role of nurses as more essential than ever to patient care during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
Nurses Are Critical to Reducing Global Geographic Cancer Disparities
Cancer is a global health problem. According to the American Cancer Society, cancer incidence is expected to continue to grow to nearly 27 million new cases around the world by 2040. In 134 of 183 countries, cancer is the first or second leading cause of premature death for people aged 30–69 years, and it ranks third or fourth in an additional 45 countries. Although cancer is a major health issue across the world, outcomes differ depending on a patient’s country of origin.
Clear the Clutter With This Chinese Discipline
Physical and mental clutter can negatively affect your mood, productivity, and overall health. Think about how you feel when looking for a misplaced report on a disorderly desk covered with papers stacked atop magazines next to a conglomerate of used cups and scattered pens. Or observe your thoughts as they randomly shift from subject to object and back again. Being in a state of perceived chaos can stimulate feelings of anxiety and biologically increase cortisol levels.
Why You Need to Use Your Vacation Benefits
Vacations can take many forms. Some are focused on pursuing thrill in far off places, whereas others are all about rest, whether at home or in an exotic locale. But all vacation takers are seeking the same outcome: better health and well-being when they return. This can translate into personal and professional benefits such as a better attitude, increased focus, and improved outlook on life. So why does the average American leave approximately four employer-paid vacation days on the table each year?
Prioritize Your Time Amid Today’s Attention Seekers
In a world where we are bombarded with too many attention seekers (e.g., activities, people, internet), we need to prioritize which stimuli are worth our immediate attention. Nurses are inundated with busy, fast-paced, and evolving roles, and 90% report that they do not have enough time to properly care for patients. The pressure to do so much in a limited amount of time increases stress levels and burnout and decreases our capacity for self-care. Prioritizing and devoting allotted time to our attention seekers may improve stress management, work-life balance, and overall self-care.
Nurses Can Make a Difference, One Shaved Leg at a Time
In nursing school and during my first clinical rotations, I was always uncomfortable with performing bed baths. To shut out my discomfort, I would focus on the task at hand, doing my best to ensure the patient’s privacy, keeping the water warm, and only exposing the one body area I was washing at the moment.
ONS Chapters Answer the Call on Giving Tuesday
After busy Thanksgiving get-togethers and frantic Black Friday, Small-Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday shopping, many people take a moment to reflect and give back to a cause that captures their passion. Dubbed Giving Tuesday, it’s a day dedicated to philanthropy and fundraising. For the first time ever, the Oncology Nursing Foundation issued a Giving Tuesday challenge to ONS chapters—a friendly competition to see which group could get the highest percentage of its membership to donate to the continued growth and excellence of oncology nursing. When all was said and done, 30 ONS chapters helped raise more than $19,000 to support the education, research, and leadership development of oncology nurses everywhere.
Shared Structure Allows Nurses to Drive the Decision-Making Process
As a unit staff nurse, have you ever thought, “I wish they would’ve asked my opinion before making that change in practice?” Many times throughout my career I’ve thought just that, but I’d never been in a position where I could share my opinions. However, getting involved in a shared decision making (SDM) structure opened up new opportunities for me.
Take These Healthy Steps to Come Back From an Unexpected Event
Oncology nurses at every professional level may encounter a variety of unexpected experiences, ranging from unkind words uttered by a patient or coworker to a medication error or the traumatic or untimely death of a beloved patient. Although the events seem like isolated, separate experiences, they can have a compounding impact on a nurse’s well-being.
Leaders Need to Walk the Talk When It Comes to Self-Care, Too
How are you taking care of yourself? It’s a question I’ve asked many team members, including leaders I have had the privilege of serving, over the course of my career. I’ve even added this question into certain candidate interviews to assess resiliency in individuals. And of course I ask it of myself often. That’s because it is my professional responsibility to ensure I am caring for myself. Provision 5 of the Code of Ethics for Nurses says, “The nurse owes the same duties to self as to others, including the responsibility to promote health and safety.”
ONS Capitol Hill Days Preps Nurses for Advocacy
Oncology nurses advocate for their patients every day, and it’s easy to see firsthand the difference it can have in those patients’ and families’ lives. But there’s a way to make an even larger impact by using those same advocacy skills at the local, state, or even national level—potentially changing thousands or even millions of lives of patients, survivors, and families across the United States.
Magnet Status Benefits Physicians, Too
Achieving Magnet recognition is the gold standard of a nursing program, demonstrating that an organization’s nursing leaders have established nursing excellence to improve outcomes for patients. And now the results of a new study published in Harvard Business Review show that excellent nurses are positively linked to physicians’ performance as well.
The Work We Do Now Affects Health Care’s Future
The World Health Organization designated 2020 internationally as the Year of the Nurse and Midwife in honor of Florence Nightingale’s 200th birthday. To celebrate the work that nurses do globally, nursing organizations around the world are creating programs that offer recognition—as well as education, training, and professional development.
Advocacy Grows Through Personality as Well as Profession
The word advocacy comes from the Middle English word “advocacie” or “intercession” and the Anglo-French word “advocassie,” meaning “pleading.” As a profession, I believe nurses pride ourselves as being advocates for our patients and their families. I can easily say that most nurses—myself included—think of advocacy in terms of daily practice. We’re always making sure patients have the right resources and knowledge and have their basic needs met to get through their daily treatments.
How Music Can Soothe Your Savage Beast—Stress
Where you put your attention matters more than you realize. For example, when you are thinking or talking about work-life stressors, your ability to take in other sensory input is challenged. One way to break out of the mental stress loop is to listen to music. Music can divert the brain’s attention, giving you a break from repetitive thoughts and judgments. The variety of music genres to choose from when looking for ways to shift your attention and enhance mood is ever increasing.
Practice These Five Self-Care Strategies in Less Than Five Minutes
Oncology nursing is a rewarding profession that offers nurses opportunities to build meaningful relationships with patients and families, manage complex patient situations, and provide compassionate care during a scary time in someone’s life. But what makes oncology nursing so special can also make nurses more vulnerable to occupational stress, which can lead to compassion fatigue or burnout.
U.S. Reps Introduce Legislation to Honor Cadet Nurses
It’s never too late to honor those who served the United States with great valor, especially during times of war and hardship. In April 2019, a group of federal legislators submitted a bipartisan, bicameral bill to honor cadet nurses who served during World War II. At the time, cadet nurses were not recognized with veteran distinctions, despite often serving in active warzones and filling a desperate need for medical care.
What Does the Research Say About Oncology Nursing Certification?
To measure the value of oncology nursing certification, scientists must look at the intrinsic, qualitative outcomes associated with nurses achieving certification in practice. The research for oncology nursing certification has largely focused on perceived benefits for nurses, their colleagues, and their institutions. Data suggest that certified oncology nurses feel validated in their knowledge, report personal satisfaction for undertaking and completing the certification process, and say that it enhanced their professional credibility.
What’s ONS’s Stance on Oncology Nursing Certification?
For many RNs working in oncology settings, certification might seem like the next step for their career and their commitment to patient-centered care. It’s important to understand the process of certification, along with what resources are available to help them succeed. ONS believes that oncology nursing certification benefits everyone in the cancer care continuum—from patients to family members to the nurses themselves and their employers. Certification shows that a nurse has voluntarily met the rigorous requirements for gaining cancer-based knowledge and experience and is prepared to provide high-quality, competent care to patients with cancer. It acknowledges a nurse’s commitment to career development and dedication to patient care in a constantly changing healthcare environment.
Reverse Compassion Fatigue and Grow Resiliency in Oncology Nursing
Compassion fatigue and burnout are adding to the cost of healthcare by personally affecting the nursing workforce, and in turn, the patients they care for and the workplace milieu. In their session on Saturday, April 13, 2019, at the ONS 44th Annual Congress in Anaheim, CA, Sue Childress, MN, RN, OCN®, of the Huntsman Cancer Institute in Salt Lake City, UT, and Pamela Bowman, MSN, RN, OCN®, of Duke Cancer Institute in Durham, NC, discussed defining, identifying and reversing compassion fatigue and fostering resiliency in today’s nursing workforce.
Reality-Based Leadership Helps Nurses Cut the Drama So They Can Problem Solve
Nurses spend an average of 2.5 hours per day on drama per staff person, according to Cy Wakeman, the opening keynote speaker at the 2018 American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Magnet Conference in Denver, CO, in October. That’s right, take 2.5 and multiply it by how many staff are working that day.
ONS Launches New Website to Better Support Oncology Nursing Needs
As the field of oncology continues to evolve, so too do the needs of oncology nurses throughout the country. To provide a deeper, cleaner, and more efficient user experience for its members, the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) has launched its newly redesigned website at ONS.org. The new ONS.org experience easily connects oncology nurses with key practice resources, the latest-breaking literature, cutting-edge courses, and innovative ways to improve the quality of cancer care for patients around the world.
What Do You Stand For?
Some lines are more memorable than others. In the Broadway musical Hamilton, Alexander Hamilton challenges Aaron Burr with this statement: “If you stand for nothin’, Burr, what will you fall for?”
I have stolen that line when teaching nurses about bullying and incivility in our workplaces. Unfortunately, this is a topic that we still need to talk about.
ONS Member Ruth McCorkle Named AAN Living Legend
For exceptional accomplishments in nursing and health care through the course of her oncology career, ONS member Ruth McCorkle, PhD, RN, FAPOS, FAAN, has been named an American Academy of Nursing (AAN) Living Legend. The Living Legend designation is AAN’s highest honor and was awarded to seven nursing professionals for 2018. The Academy will honor its Living Legend designees at its annual policy conference in Washington, DC, on November 1, 2018.
Oncology Nursing Certification Is a Valuable Step on the Road to Leadership
I still remember what it felt like to sign my name in the chart for the first time after passing the OCN®—and later the AOCN®—examination: excitement, accomplishment, relief, and pride. I knew that the credential didn’t automatically make me a smarter or better clinician, but it did validate the knowledge and skills that I had been working so hard to achieve over my years of practice as an oncology nurse.
Find, Be, and Thank an Oncology Nursing Mentor This May
The month of May is a perfect time to think about new beginnings. Among its seasonal events such as Mother’s Day, weddings, baby showers, and graduations, we also celebrate Oncology Nursing Month and ONS Congress in Washington, DC, this year.
Lay Patient Navigators Can Help Oncology Nurses Guide Patients Through Cancer Care
Even for medical professionals working in health care every day, the U.S. healthcare system can be incredibly complex. Understanding where to obtain information and how to connect patients to resources can be difficult. For patients, navigating their treatment journey can be—at times—downright impossible. Coordinating care for patients with cancer is a crucial component to successful outcomes and quality cancer care.
How ONS Supports Oncology Nurse Navigators in Care Coordination
When I worked in the clinical setting, like many of you, I guided patients through treatments, prepared them for managing their care at home, celebrated the completion of treatment, and grieved the deaths of many. I coordinated patients’ care.
Is Sexual Harassment of Nurses Prevalent in Health Care?
The MeToo movement, an online campaign where women from all walks of life shared their stories of personal sexual assault and harassment, went viral in October 2017. The goal of their stories was to demonstrate the prevalence of sexual misconduct, especially in the workplace. Victims of sexual violence and harassment often go unnoticed and unheard, even though the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that it affects approximately one third of women worldwide. In a 2017 poll of American women, 54% reported “unwanted and inappropriate sexual advances” and 95% said it goes unreported.