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Dialysis nurse considering oncology... again

Has 22 years experience.

Hi, everyone,

my first interest right out of school was oncology; I was hired as a new grad, but had an absolutely horrible experience with an evil head nurse (basically, I didn't fit in with her clique and she forced me to resign). But I never forgot the pts I had in the short time I was there (11 weeks)...

By way of med/tele I ended up in dialysis, which also interests me. OK, I love it, but there are two problems: outpt dialysis is a grinder (think the worst med/surg floor you can imagine) and acutes, i.e. hospital inpt unit, where I am now - and which is wonderful - just doesnt' have enough pts to give a steady income (people get called off or sent home a lot). But I'm limited to working PRN at this time (I have 3-year-old twins), so this makes it challenging (as you can imagine, I'm the first to be called off or sent home).

I cannot ignore the facts anymore and will have to look to another unit, either exclusively or in addition to my current one. Truth is, however, I'm not interested in the "typical" unit that needs PRN nurses (outpt, admitting/discharge, med/surg, etc.) And finally it occurred to me: what about my "first love", oncology?

I've been a nurse for a decade now, have done med/surg in the distant past, but do work in a hospital. I could really get interested in oncology again, I guess I had it on the back burner. I always thought I might do outpt oncology one day... how realistic is this?

Also, how hard is it to get back into inpt oncology? Is it much like a "typical" med/surg floor (we had up to 7 pts on days 10 years ago, I think that's a bit bit much... don't know how that has changed). Nurses needed a year experience before doing chemo, is this standard/recommended?

Any encouragement (or warnings) from current oncology nurses would be greatly appreciated. You are very special nurses!

DeLana :bow:

onc_research

Specializes in oncology, clinical trials, home health.

Hi, everyone,

my first interest right out of school was oncology; I was hired as a new grad, but had an absolutely horrible experience with an evil head nurse (basically, I didn't fit in with her clique and she forced me to resign). But I never forgot the pts I had in the short time I was there (11 weeks)...

By way of med/tele I ended up in dialysis, which also interests me. OK, I love it, but there are two problems: outpt dialysis is a grinder (think the worst med/surg floor you can imagine) and acutes, i.e. hospital inpt unit, where I am now - and which is wonderful - just doesnt' have enough pts to give a steady income (people get called off or sent home a lot). But I'm limited to working PRN at this time (I have 3-year-old twins), so this makes it challenging (as you can imagine, I'm the first to be called off or sent home).

I cannot ignore the facts anymore and will have to look to another unit, either exclusively or in addition to my current one. Truth is, however, I'm not interested in the "typical" unit that needs PRN nurses (outpt, admitting/discharge, med/surg, etc.) And finally it occurred to me: what about my "first love", oncology?

I've been a nurse for a decade now, have done med/surg in the distant past, but do work in a hospital. I could really get interested in oncology again, I guess I had it on the back burner. I always thought I might do outpt oncology one day... how realistic is this?

Also, how hard is it to get back into inpt oncology? Is it much like a "typical" med/surg floor (we had up to 7 pts on days 10 years ago, I think that's a bit bit much... don't know how that has changed). Nurses needed a year experience before doing chemo, is this standard/recommended?

Any encouragement (or warnings) from current oncology nurses would be greatly appreciated. You are very special nurses!

DeLana :bow:

Hello, It really depends on your facility regarding who administers. You are already an experienced nurse so I think it would be very easy for you to work on an inpatient onc floor or even outpatient chemo. Last year our facility hired 2 RN's (experienced but not in chemo) to work in our chemo infusion room. They had to take a chemo course through ONS. The ONS website is a great place to start to become familiar with chemo administration and the various protocols. Don't discount your years of experience........Good luck in your endeavors

RNratched

Specializes in CPU, ICU, HD,CPC,OPSU,PSY.

hello delana_rn,

i am currently a dialysis nurse working on an inpatient unit. the unit is small, but we keep very busy. i am going to be relocating soon and have been looking at job prospects. i am so excited to see another dialysis nurse that has oncology experience. when i was in nursing school, i found outpatient oncology interesting and thought i could see myself in that position one day. i never expected to love dialysis, but here i am. i have only inpatient experience though, and only hear horror stories about outpatient dialysis centers. so, in relocating i am trying to keep my options open. i have come across a position with a large hospital where i will be living which has an opening in their outpatient onc. department. what has your experience been in transitioning from one treatment area to the other? i really don't want to go back to floor nursing and i am not having any luck finding another inpatient dialysis job.

i appreciate any advice...

AsatruRN

Specializes in Dialysis, Oncology. Has 6 years experience.

This is not going to help you now BUT..

I've been in outpatient hemodialysis for the past 4 years and I was starting to get bored. So I applied and accepted a position in ambulatory chemotherapy!

So..I will let you know!

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