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Alene Nitzky, a certified oncology nurse and author of Navigating the C: A Nurse Charts The Course for Cancer Survivorship Care, emphasizes that the work can be very demanding. Since oncology nurses often work with very sick patients, they need to take extra care to not take work home. Becoming an oncology nurse requires extra schooling after nursing school, like any specialty. A keen ability to navigate emotionally-charged groups is a must. Being an oncology nurse also helps me to keep things in perspective within my own life. Perspective about what’s important. Collaboration among nurses is paramount, and when they come together the best outcome is patient satisfaction. Seven reasons why oncology nurses should get certified. Throughout my career in oncology, I have often heard nurses say they love oncology because of the, Talk about this article with nurses and others in the oncology community in the. That said, oncology is a particularly challenging subset of nursing due to the nature of the disease. Just remember that you can’t do your best work if you’re emotionally and physically exhausted. To qualify, you have to spend at least one year working as an RN, work 1,000 hours in an oncology setting, and pass an exam. Oncology is a challenging but rewarding nursing specialty. An oncology nurse may be required to supervise a team of nursing assistants to help ensure top care of patients. When asked about the hardest part of being an oncology nurse, Nitzky said, “The most challenging part of the job is not what you’d think. You should be ready to identify the strategies you utilize to make sure workers are … Nurses will have to take an active role in their own lives to minimize burnout. Oncology nurses can also work in the private sector or be nurse entrepreneurs to expand their horizons beyond the traditional health care setting. Op-Med website. All nurses should be compassionate, precise, and resilient. always grateful for everything you do for them. Navigating the C: A Nurse Charts The Course for Cancer Survivorship Care, Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation, 8 Tips for Surviving the Holidays if You Have a Demanding Job, Mantras and Affirmations for Nurses Amid COVID-19, The New Nurse Guide: 11 Ways to Adjust to a New Practice, Good at discerning when to listen and support, Comfortable with end-of-life issues, grief, and loss. “Make sure you are really driven to do this work and that you have a true passion because it is extremely physically, mentally, and emotionally demanding,” she says. New York, NY 10036, © 2020 Springer Publishing Company | Privacy Policy, Deborah Swanson is a Coordinator for the Real Caregivers Program at. The oncology nurses we spoke to all named the patients as their favorite part of the job. Compassion fatigue or emotional burnout is a real challenge for many health care professionals. I feel that oncology nursing provides a outlet for how I have always thought of nursing: as a professional, caring, healing invironment. Register now to learn about a new option for relapsed or refractory follicular lymphoma. Just my thoughts, not so profound. Many nurses find a career in oncology to be especially rewarding. As an oncology nurse, your days may include monitoring a patient’s physical condition, handling medication, and administering chemotherapy and other treatments. If you’re thinking of pursuing a specialization in oncology nursing, you’ll want to explore the various types of positions available. Diving into the world of oncology nursing also means that you’ll have to be comfortable with end-of-life issues, including grief and loss. If you think that you have the emotional resilience, technical precision, and compassion to pursue oncology nursing, this field is incredibly rewarding. Karen also chairs RHLCCC’s Best Practice committee, ensuring evidence-based practice across the cancer center. ASCO website. JTWidget = {code: 'MTQiullov0bF7CZWcayqMi0ztb0Czdq6'}; Springer Publishing Company Keep in mind that pediatric oncology comes with the additional emotional challenge of helping young children and their families. Taking a few minutes to protect yourself from exposure to hazardous drugs is better than your health being compromised. Oncology nurses have to hone the psychosocial side of their role in addition to the highly technical aspects of monitoring their patients. Good oncology nurses will notice even small changes in their patients’ charts and are the first line of defense if something is amiss. “I feel like the standard answer to what is great about oncology … The exact parameters vary state by state, but advanced certifications generally require a master’s degree or higher in nursing as well as hundreds of hours of supervised clinical practice. This is ideal for nurses who may enjoy getting out to work in the community. As an oncology nurse, your days may include monitoring a patient’s physical condition, handling medication, and administering chemotherapy and other treatments. Major milestone against cancer. Nursing is more about computer screens and documentation than it is about patient care, unfortunately.”. You’ll do a far better job of helping patients if you’re comfortable. Alene Nitzky, a certified oncology nurse and author of Navigating the C: A Nurse Charts The Course for Cancer Survivorship Care, emphasizes that the work can be very demanding. They may work with a variety of patients, from children to the elderly, from outpatients through to palliative care. Oncology nurses are involved in many aspects of cancer diagnoses and treatment, including prevention and early detection, and symptom management. Most certifications last for four years before they must be renewed with a recertification test or continuing education credits. Oncology nurses work in a multi-disciplinary team, in a variety of settings, from the inpatient ward, to the bone marrow transplant unit, through to the community. A small mistake in medication dosage or timing can have devastating effects for an oncology patient, so attention to detail is important. 3 Being an oncology nurse allows you to be a part of professional organizations from which you can gain insight on what is new and trending in oncology, and meet and network with other … used to work hem/onc/bmt. Knowing when to listen to patients and their families versus offering consolation or advice is a key challenge for oncology nurses. Find ways to disengage from your patients and their families when you’re away from work and ensure that you have healthy self-care routines of diet, exercise, and rest. It’s always smart to reach out to a variety of experienced individuals in your chosen field. “Make sure you are really driven to do this work and … After getting an RN license, a prospective oncology nurse will need to meet specific eligibility criteria and pass an exam. You can rotate into oncology units in many hospitals without extra certifications, but the knowledge gained with continuing education is worth its weight in gold to help patients further. Since oncology can be so emotionally exhausting, it’s important to practice good self-care. Her strong desire to teach led her to her current role, educating and mentoring new nurses entering the oncology field. It’s easy to constantly think about that particularly charming patient or worry about parents who are on shaky emotional ground. You can get outside the hospital to work in a nursing home or health care center. Handbook of Cancer Survivorship Care covers the must-know points of clinical management and successfully carries over cutting-edge expertise into clinical practice whether it is used at the bedside or in the clinic. The Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation offers a variety of certification options that you can pursue to stand out in a hiring pool and to further your knowledge of cancer care. Despite advanced technology and new treatment breakthroughs in cancer care, treatment disparity remains among African American women with breast cancer. As an oncology nurse, you may find work in a variety of settings. No matter how hard or bad I think my day is, it’s never as bad as my patients’. This will give you a better idea of the field you’re pursuing. Cancer patients tend to have multi-system problems and can be complicated so you will definitely use your critical thinking. With May being designated as Oncology Nursing Month, it’s a good time for nursing students to learn more about becoming an oncology nurse and connect with oncologists who have made the great big specialty leap. The nursing shortage will be severe, ultimately increasing the number of burnout syndrome among nurses. opmed.doximity.com/articles/why-oncology-is-an-intimate-field-d0cf0ce3-287a-46c7-8158-b2776ae4c65c, asco.org/research-progress/cancer-progress-timeline, americannursetoday.com/seven-reasons-why-oncology-nurses-should-get-certified/, African American Women Aren't Receiving the Benefits of Breast Cancer Awareness, Finding Success Through Nurse Collaboration, ICD 11-Code Burnout: Oncology Nurses Are at Risk, Safety First: The Importance of Personal Protective Equipment. Of the field you ’ re pursuing to providing care for patients ’ charts why do you want to be an oncology nurse are the first of. To teach led her to her current role, educating and mentoring new entering! 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