3 most important things to know for an oncology nurse

  1. Okay. So for the past year I have been working as a psychiatric nurse at private psych hospital (new grad, first RN job).

    I recently decided I needed to get out of psych to keep up my skills as RN including critical thinking skills ..and current employment has VERY limited medical treatment (no IV's, caths, ports, transfusions, ...) so I applied for medical hospital on oncology unit

    And I got hired!!!!! I am excited but now I am getting TERRIFIED!!

    I want to know what are the 3 most important areas to review for oncology nursing. I feel I have the compassion, patience, hardworking-always willing to help out other staff members going for me, (and some basic level of nursing knowledge) BUT

    I am worried I will look like an idiot my first day, since @my psych nursing job I didn't need to perform hardly any medical skills. I want to know SPECIFIC areas to focus on before my first day of training on the unit so no one thinks I am an idiot!

    Any oncology nurses-maybe who have acted as preceptors to new RN's to unit and found areas you expect them to know? Please let me know.
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    Joined: Nov '10; Posts: 48; Likes: 6


  3. by   KarenJordan
    Know the oncology emergencies - pulmonary edema, spinal cord compression, sepsis, pneumo, superior vena cava syndrome.
  4. by   tokebi
    Neutropenic precaution and neutropenic fever protocol.

    Congratulations and good luck!
  5. by   Tobygo2
    Know what you're facility considers to be neutropenic. Ours is a cutoff of 1500 but I know other places differ. Know about ANC, H/H and platelet levels as MDs frequently call to check on these labs to decide on transfusions. Also become familar with frequent remedies for frequent chemo side effects. You'll LOVE Oncology!!
  6. by   brithoover
    A really good head to toe assessment is key!
  7. by   edimo
    Quote from brithoover
    A really good head to toe assessment is key!
    Agreed...once you have a good assessment to work from, any changes in status will become apparent to you and oncology patients are known to turn on a dime

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