Pediatric Oncology Nurses
A day in the life of a pediatric oncology nurse is never typical. Patient assignments vary and may include a child recently diagnosed with cancer, or one who was recently informed that there are no curative options. Nurses may care for a child in the hospital for chemotherapy or a child hospitalized due to complications. It is a profession that demands broad knowledge (art and science of nursing), strong critical thinking/problem solving/decision making skills, and a high degree of compassion and sensitivity for children, adolescents, young adults, their families and their community. Caring a child with cancer is one of the most technically and emotionally difficult area in Oncology Nursing. Pediatric oncology nurses are passionate about their work, promoting excellence and high quality care, reassure and educate families, balance a multitude of other health care professionals, and keep up with ever-changing nursing practice and care. They are knowledgeable about the diagnosis, treatment, side effects and complications of therapy, and are highly skilled in the delivery of chemotherapy and biotherapy. They are mentors to their colleagues, sharing vast knowledge and experiences. Pediatric oncology care is a rapidly changing field, requiring nurses to be lifelong learners. Nurses support their patients as they celebrate the smallest victories or milestones, and grieve during loss.
Roles of Pediatric Oncology Nurse includes:-
In addition to general nursing care, responsibilities of Pediatric Oncology Nurses include (but are not limited to):
- Provide direct and individualized nursing care to pediatric oncology patients based on the application of scientific nursing principles.
- An important responsibility of nurses involved in the delivery of chemotherapy is to ensure that the correct dose and drug are administered by the correct route to the right patient.
- Patient education is an important nursing role as they promote understanding of the disease and treatment. Nurses provide information that aids the decision-making process, and assists families when navigating the health care system.
- Pediatric oncology nurse are experts in assessing a patient’s physical and emotional status, past health history, health practices, and both the patient’s and the family’s knowledge of the disease and its treatment.
- The pediatric oncology nurse plays a vital role in coordinating the multiple and complex technologies now commonly employed in cancer diagnosis and treatment. This coordination encompasses direct patient care; documentation in the medical record; participation in therapy; symptom management, both patient and family education; as well as counseling throughout diagnosis, therapy, and follows up.
- The pediatric oncology nurse identifies patient problems and assists in the evaluation of symptoms and initiation of interventions, including information about the last chemotherapy treatment and knowledge of the patient’s history, guide the nurse in determining the patient’s disposition and treatment.
- Maintains comprehensive and accurate records of all patient activities, including exams, diagnostic testing, medications, cancer treatments, referring physician information, etc.
- Initiates emergency resuscitative measures according to resuscitation protocols.
- Reports patient condition to appropriate personnel during each shift.
- Evaluates patients’ responses to care based on effectiveness of nursing interventions/actions in relationship to established outcomes and consults with doctors and Support Staff regarding clinical variances and recommended changes to the plan of care.
Identifies learning needs with patients/families and teaches by adapting standard information to provide individualized and comprehensive teaching learning. Utilizes the resources as appropriate to meet identified patient, family and/or care give needs.