Oncology OR nursing

  1. Hi,

    I can't find anything about what this job entails..Is this just general surgery? Is there a heavy amount of repositioning the patients? Is there a lot of radiation exposure? Chemo exposure?

    Thank you
    -ICU RN..
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  2. 4 Comments

  3. by   Rose_Queen
    This is likely something you will need to ask those who posted the job description. Oncology is pretty broad; it could include general (colon, lymph node, etc), vascular (for access device insertion), plastics (skin CA), urology (prostate/bladder CA), gyn (uterine/cervical/ovarian CA), thoracic (lung CA), and so many others. Then again, it could be specific to oncology surgery in only 1 specialty. Positioning of patients and radiation will likely depend on the specialty or specialties. The employer is the best place to seek clarification.
  4. by   Wolf at the Door
    I received an answer from the facility without asking... Thanks, Rose Queen you are right...it is a hodge podge of cases which has its pros and cons. Head and heck, GI, GU, GYN, thoracic, ortho, laps, and robotics. I will have to ask about the chemo exposure. I know the MD's give chemo in OR RN's have zilch to do with that.
  5. by   WhoDatWhoDare
    Quote from Bottomed out
    I will have to ask about the chemo exposure. I know the MD's give chemo in OR RN's have zilch to do with that.
    Your exposure risk would still be a concern, even if the MD is the one administering the chemo... You'd most likely still be required to dispose of the bag and supplies into the appropriate collection bins plus cleanup in the unlikely but entirely possible event the contents of the chemo bags spill onto the floor or equipment. Good luck.
    WhoDatWhoDare
  6. by   birdie22
    If youre using chemo in the OR, its usually either in a general abd. case or a urology case. They instill the chemo med directly into the cancerous area of the body, to give the patient a highly concentrated, "local" dose. If they are doing intra-op radiation, again, same concept. It's do to a highly concentrated dose in a local area. The docs and/or perfusion team usually give the chemo, because as an OR nurse, you probably wont be required to be certified. All you have to do is make sure the supplies are disposed of correctly. Regarding the intra-op radiation, there can be special equipment required, but the surgeon/team of radiologist/staff will take care of it. Also, the dose that this machine gives off is so high that all staff usually physically leave the room during the actually radiation part. It doesnt take very long. Again, all you really have to do is make sure everyone is remaining safe during all if it, especially the patient.

    Also - regarding radiation, there are several other surgeries where you will be exposed - urology, ortho, neuero, spine cases. The hospital will give you a special badge that you wear that monitors how much radiation you have been exposed to....generally speaking (there is always an exception...), even the radiology techs do not even get exposed enough to cause concern. Also you wear lead vests/shields to protect you while they are xraying the patient in the OR.

    Regarding oncology OR, broadly speaking, its basically the same thing as working in a regular OR. The cases are usually longer bc of complex tumor involvement, but the basics are the same. Example....a patient needs their thyroid removed bc of a goiter (non-cancer) vs. a tumor (cancer). Its the same case, but for a different reason. A hysterectomy d/t cancer vs lady parts malfunctioning, etc. The cancer cases are often more involved, might have to also remove lymph nodes, tumors can bleed more, but youre everyday tasks of positioning patients, making sure instruments are sterile and ready for the case, and running for supplies is the exact same.

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