Quote from nursepearl
i work on a hematology/oncology floor. we do bone marrow and stem cell transplants. i love my work. we get to know our patients very well as, yes, they can be with us for several months. its also exicitng because the nurses do the transplants! i belive its the only transplant that nurses can do.
our patients do get very immunocompromised and we put them on neutropenic precautions which consists of washing hands before entering, no flowers or live plants, low bacteria diets, and patients can only walk in halls with masks on, dressing changes on cvc lines everyday, anti-fungals....also of course, no sick visitors or nurses. there may be a couple more that i cant think of right now....its basically common sense things to reduce exposure to bacteria, fugus...etc.
i would suggest reading up on bmt's before hand and maybe getting your floors procedure manual to see what they do with these patients.
good luck to you and i hope you enjoy this area.
ps.excuse any spelling
i too work in bmt (peds). it is really a fascinating specialty. either you like it, or you don't. there is a lot of educating (pt and family) involved. this was great for me in the beginning, because it really kept me on my toes (you can't bs your patients when they ask you a question, so you need to know why you're doing everything you do). i wouldn't say the care is routine, but certain things are (the meds, the complications and the general flow of the job). there are always surprises however (meaning complications) but you do get to anticipate what's coming. lots of critical thinking, like solving a mystery. it's amazing to see someone walk out of there after it's over, after seeing them suffer so much.
those are the pros. i'm sure you could imagine the cons. they are not all happy endings, and even if they make it home, that may not be the end. it can become frustrating to see someone not get better, febrile for weeks without a source, pts who don't engraft, line infections, graft vs. host disease, and many other complications. very few pts (at least where i work) go home in the 'typical' 4-6 weeks. and it pains me when they ask this question as soon as they are admitted.
you can't promise them anything. especially in peds, the parents want to know "how do most 2 yr olds do', or 'how do most kids with aml do". they want good news, of course. but there's no magic # or outcome.
how big is the unit you are working on? do you know the pt ratio?
there is enough info on onc and bmt to choke a horse with. go to the ons or apon websites. there are always conferences. ons has two a year (the next one is in orlando in april). they are $$$, but very good.