Connect With Your Patients on a Human Level as Well as a Healthcare Level
As a healthcare provider, I had been warned about getting too close to my patients. They told me that it was unprofessional, it would cloud my judgment, it would lead to emotional burnout, and various other reasons. For my first year as a nurse, I took that advice to heart and kept my emotional distance while still doing my best to provide care to the whole patient. Then one night I met Jeff, and everything changed.
Exercise the Evidence: How I Moved From an Idea to Program Development
As a clinical nurse specialist (CNS) with a cardiovascular background, I have seen the evidence-based benefits of exercise in a variety of settings. However, several years ago, when I was working as a CNS on an acute inpatient oncology unit, I noticed that exercise was not regularly included in care plans. As I learned from staff, this was done out of concern that patients needed to rest to save their energy.
All Patients, Regardless of Insurance, Must Have Access to Cancer Screening
To increase access to breast and cervical cancer screening, U.S. Congress passed the Breast and Cervical Cancer Mortality Prevention Act of 1990, which led to the creation of the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (NBCCEDP). Because of NBCCEDP, eligible women who are low-income, underserved, and underinsured receive free breast and cervical cancer screening and diagnostic testing.
Help AYA Survivors and Patients With Cancer Navigate Infertility
In part thanks to advancements in both cancer treatment and supportive care, the number of cancer survivors is expected to reach 22 million by 2030. Adolescent and young adult (AYA) patients aged 15–39 constitute only 5% of new cancer diagnoses but have an 85% relative five-year survival rate. They represent a significant portion of all current and future cancer survivors and have unique needs, including reaching developmental milestones, coping with disruptions in personal and professional relationships, and encountering potential difficulties in family planning.
CDC’s Virtual Simulation Guides Patients With Prostate Cancer From Screening to Treatment
Nurses can now navigate patients with prostate cancer to a virtual simulation for guidance on all aspects of the disease, from screening to treatment. Plus, providers can interact with Nathan, the simulation avatar, in a clinical encounter to help improve their consultation skills when discussing screening and treatment decisions with men. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released this resource after launching its popular simulation for patients with breast cancer.
Word Choice Matters When Caring for Patients With Cancer
Oncology nurses use many tools to help our patients, but one of the most effective is our words. However, our terminology may be overwhelming to patients and feel like medical jargon. We also often use terms to describe how a patient is experiencing cancer, reporting adverse events, noncompliance, failing treatment, and palliative care, which can be confusing and misleading.
Managing Cancer-Related PTSD Starts With Acknowledgement
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is often associated with survivors of military combat or natural disaster, such as refugees or veterans. However, patients with a current or past cancer diagnosis, and their loved ones, are at risk for developing cancer-related PTSD (CR-PTSD).
Nurses Have a Role and Responsibility in Ending Racism
“There’s no way you can extricate what’s been going on and the outcomes of the (COVID-19 coronavirus) from the basic racism and social injustice and inequities that have existed in this country for so many years,” American Academy of Nursing Living Legend Catherine Alicia Georges, EdD, RN, FAAN, said in a June 17, 2020, podcast. “The chronicity of racism is the issue.”
ONS Joins Health Community in Condemning Racism
The death of George Floyd on May 25, 2020, spurred a national wave of protest. United in the wake of a global pandemic, people are doing what they feel is necessary to bring social justice and equality changes to the forefront of the American experience. Across the country, people are demanding immediate changes to a biased system. In a formal statement, ONS condemned racism and called for “all of us to commit to an end to hatred, discrimination, and racism in every form.”
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.
How Does ONS Support Nurses Who Care for Older Adults With Cancer?
By bringing together gero-oncology experts from the ONS membership, staff, and leadership, the ONS geriatric oncology group is identifying gaps in geriatric oncology nursing research and care and connecting ONS members with available resources targeting this vulnerable population. Adult patients with cancer—aged 65 and older—already make up a majority of patients that oncology nurses see. Despite the population’s prevalence throughout cancer institutions and clinics, many nurses are not acutely familiar with the specialized care required to successfully help them navigate their treatment.
Support and Empower At-Home Caregivers of Patients With Cancer
Finding comfort among loved ones at home can be conducive to healing in all of its dimensions for patients with cancer. For patients in home care, many aspects of treatment and day-to-day medical care are done by loved ones or family members. In the United States, nearly 4.6 million at-home caregivers are tending to patients with cancer. Although many at-home caregivers embrace the responsibility, managing successful oncology care can be a complex burden for family members—many of whom are likely unprepared for the stressors of cancer care.
Laughing in the Face of Cancer: ONS Member Shares Mother’s Comical Reflections on Being a Patient
American author Kurt Vonnegut once wrote, “Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion. . . . I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning up to do afterward.” Humor has the ability to sooth and heal, and humor often makes grim situations feel brighter and less daunting. Moments affixed with tragedy, grief, loss, and terror can often soften in time, allowing for understanding, acceptance, and sometimes even laughter.