Hi Everyone....I'm new to this forum but not really new to nursing. I'm in my 20 year of practicing and have worked in many areas. For the last 8 years I have worked in Gastroenterology nursing and love it. However saying that I feel like I want to rechallenge myself at this point and spent several days recently in an Outpatient Chemotherapy unit and was hooked. I'm hoping to start orientation at the beginning of next month.....would love some helpful advise from oncology nurses and especially those that have experienced the learning curve recently. Thanks and I look forward to browsing around these forums.
Mar 4, '05
It sounds like you are going to be in outpatient?
I have spent my career as an inpatient oncology nurse so I'm afraid I can't comment on that scene. Any new job has a tall learning curve - as long as you give yourself space, ask questions and don't kick yourself because you don't have all the answers yet - you'll do fine. You have the 20 year advantage behind you - it helps - you don't have to learn everything from the beginning, plus even if you don't know something, you have the inner confidence that comes from experience.
Good luck and enjoy the journey.
Mar 5, '05
Thank you....yes it is an outpatient unit and I am very excited to get started. I agree that my overall nursing experience should make the learning curve easier. I'm sure I'll be posting here as I begin my journal for help and encouragement. Thanks once again for responding to my post. Congratulations on your own dedication to oncology nursing...as I've already become aware it is a field that takes a special type of nurse.
Mar 8, '05
Good luck with your new position, Sandra. I would suggest visiting the ONS's bulletin board for more information. Hopefully you'll be provided an adequate orientation to your new position. I would hope that this would include extensive inservices on basic oncology nursing and chemotherapy administration.
Keep us posted!
Mar 8, '05
I worked as an oncology nurse for 9 years, then moved to Emergency 3 years ago. I still work a few shifts in Oncology as a casual nurse but moving to a new area has really made me love my job again. At first, it was very scary as I felt very slow compared to everyone else but I found that soon passed. My advice to you is to ask lots of questions in your new environment. This will help you find out which staff like teaching and latch on to these nurses as your mentors. And do not neglect your nursing judgement. You may not know all there is to know about chemo or radiation but you do know what "trouble" looks like. Your nursing experience has taught you how to notice the small things such as the change in a patient's skin color or whether they are focussing a bit more on breathing than usual. I actually did not realize how much I knew about nursing until I moved to a new area. Good luck and remember to have fun!
Mar 20, '05
Just read your post and was wondering if you could share some of your experience with me. I start a job in a hematology/oncology office on March 28 and have no experience in the field. It is my understanding that I will be giving chemotherapy to patients as an outpatient basis. I am a new RN but have been a LPN for years. However, my experience is not related to oncology field. I lack experience also in IV, mediports, etc. If you could offer any helpful hints I would greatly appreciate it. I am very nervous about my first day.
Mar 20, '05
you a PM so we can help encourage each other as we both venture into this new and exciting field of Oncology Nursing.
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