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Hospice nursing to oncology inpatient?

Oncology   (216 Views 2 Comments)
by CarterHolly CarterHolly, RN (New Member) New Member

CarterHolly has 14 years experience as a RN.

16 Likes; 111 Visitors; 7 Posts

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Hi, I've been a home health hospice RN for the last 10+ years. I've dealt with every cancer probably known to man, but being in hospice obviously we haven't administered chemo etc.  In home health we did a lot of at home long-term ABX and even some 5FU takedowns, but no chemo.  Is this a good choice?  I'm burnt to a crisp after going on 11 years of driving two counties, hospice/home health charting, and call!  I'd love to be back in a 12 hr/3 day a week position with the same population I'm used to dealing with on a daily basis!

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667 Visitors; 21 Posts

I have experience in hospice nursing, but currently work in an inpatient oncology unit. In my experience there isn't a very big difference between the hospice and oncology population. Most of my oncology patients are dying, the difference being they are still holding out for a miracle treatment/fix or cure. I'm sure outpatient oncology is different, and good outcomes are witnessed more often, but as an inpatient oncology nurse, most of my patients are admitted for end stage organ failure of some kind because they are dying from either the cancer or the treatment. The other type of patients we typically see are surgical and inpatient chemo cases-these often have a better prognosis, and may result in a better outcome. 

If you like the hospice population, you will most likely like the oncology population too. The part that is hard for me, is when caring for a patient who is dying and the docs are still willing to provide chemo/radiation and the family and patient want to keep fighting when you as the nurse KNOW they have hours to days left. As a previous hospice nurse, these scenarios break my heart. I do enjoy my job though and absolutely love my patients. With that said, I know someday I will go back to hospice nursing. 

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