Do you have a job in a Chemo Office, do you like it?

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I currently work nights or afternoons, 8 hour shifts in a Skilled Nursing Facility, it's been great experience learning how to juggle 40 pt's, IV's, delegation, trachs etc etc.. It's also a few miles away from my home.

BUT, I was offered a job in a Chemo office. I think the pay would be comparable to where I work, only day shift. The drive is 40 minutes away.

Though I like where I work it is hard flip flopping bet midnights and afternoons and they always accidentally schedule me for only an occational weekend off (instead of every other weekend-which is what I am supposed to get. But I've heard that's pretty typical for a S.N.F.) It's also pretty hard having 30 to 40 pt's, most of whom take meds twice p/shift.

SO, do you like working in a chemo office?

OCNRN63, RN

5,978 Posts

Specializes in Oncology; medical specialty website.

I really liked my job in outpatient oncology. I would still be working there, but I was diagnosed with cancer and I had complications from treatment that left me unable to work.

If you decide to take this job, you should know that the learning curve is pretty steep if you have no oncology experience. I went into outpatient onc. from short-stay surgery. We had a few patients who came in for infusions, and a couple of them got chemo. No one wanted to take care of them, so I did it, with the idea that maybe it would be a means to getting out of that job and into an oncology office. I took the ONS chemo provider course, and then shortly after that a job opened up in an office. I got the job, and let me tell you, the first 6mo...maybe the first year actually was really rough.

Let me give you a couple of suggestions if you decide to take the job:

1. Become a member of ONS (Oncology Nurses Society) http://www.ons.org. It will give you discounts on CE, reading materials, discounts if you take the chemo provider course and on the certification exam.

2. Take the ONS Chemotherapy/Biotherapy course. It's a two day course, followed by an exam that will give you a chemo provider card. (Think of it as "Oncology ACLS") You will learn a ton, but it will be a big help. Your employer may even require you to take it.

3. Purchase the Core Curriculum for Oncology Nursing from ONS. It's a really good reference manual.

4. I would suggest getting oncology certification; you will probably need a minimum of a year before you'll be ready to take the test. It's a great confidence-booster; it may give you extra $$ from your employer (they may even pay for the test); patients do notice it when you have it.

5. Join your local ONS Chapter. You'll get to meet other oncology nurses and network. You may be able to get CE for attending the meetings.

Best wishes if you decide to take the job!

OCNRN63

Specializes in Geriatric, Oncology. Has 2 years experience.

^^Agree with above recommendations, you will definitely need some type of oncology knowledge if you have no background. I went from SNF to a medical oncology unit thinking my experience was enough (since we dealt with many terminal dx and hospices cases) but I was wrong!! You really need to be familiar with drugs and symptom management, as well as common regimens. Good luck, I think you will love oncology!!

BrendaH84, BSN

148 Posts

Has 8 years experience.

Thank you bot so much for the valuable information!