Ever since I've started nursing school I've always been drawn to Oncology Nursing. With my previous job in the hospital I've had the opportunity to meet nurses on the oncology unit and cancer center and talk to patients and I knew for sure that that is what I wanted to go into.
I graduated a few months ago, passed my NCLEX 1 month ago and with a lot of luck landed a job in a teaching hospital in a large city on their Oncology/ hemotology floor! I'm so excited to start my career here! However it's safe to say that nerves are kicking in and I definitely realize that this first year is going to be full of a lot of learning and stress!
Is there anything you would recommend a new grad doing before their first day on an oncology unit?
Also, is their any advice you would give a new grad on the floor?
thank you guys in advance!
Be proficient on dexamethasone, prednisone, solu-medrol, Zofran, Reglan, Compazine, Phenergan meds/uses/side effects. My biggest advice, listen to your patients. Many times, they know way more about their specific disease needs than you do; if they tell you Zofran never works, I need Compazine; believe them.
You will learn so much. You work with patients who not only have hem/onc issues, but generally some med/surg issue on top of it that made them have to be hospitalized. Trust your gut. Learn your policies/procedures for port/PICC/CVC access. Most patients veins are so blown by the time they get to you, forgive yourself if you miss that IV and need help. Remember, working hem/onc can be hell on wheels in the best way.
Find someone who can be your mentor/sounding board. You will have rough days. You will cry at work. It's ok to care. Just remember to take care of your mental health too!
I'm currently a new grad and I also work on an oncology floor. I agree with the above post. You will learn so much. I've been on my job for almost a month and I have learned so much from the patients as well from my different preceptors.
I wish you all the best.
I'm a new grad that just started on a medical oncology unit (I've only had one shift so far!), glad to see that I'm not alone! Good luck
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