new job


I was just offered (and accepted!) a position on a surgical oncology unit! any advice? words of wisdom?? cant wait to start!


223 Posts

I'm a surgical onc nurse too, it's a great job! My first suggestion is to join ONS, if you haven't already. Take advantage of the online CEUs they offer (most aren't free, but it's worth it).

Become familiar with the types of procedures you'll be seeing, typical post op course, which surgeons give certain instructions and like certain meds. Look over pain medications - PO, IV, PCA, patches - and don't be afraid to use them.

If you have the opportunity to spend time with the docs while they explain procedures and evaluate pts, it will help you learn, too.

Also review some chemo and radiation side effects, as many of your pts will be treated with these modalities in addition to surgery.

Ask questions of your colleagues and of your pts, observe everything you can, and take part in any procedure offered.

Have you worked in oncology before? It's been my experience that onc teams are very supportive and encouraging, so it's generally a good work environment. And the patients are amazing. Good luck, hope you enjoy it!


231 Posts

Has 6 years experience.

thanks for all the input! I had one clinical rotation in oncology - it was my very first rotation, so all i really learned was how to give patients baths, so I really do not have experience with onc. treatments and medications. I'm planning on joining ONS, too. thanks again for the advice!