BMT Unit vs General Oncology

  1. Hello all...

    I just started a nurse externship program in Oncology in a major hospital in the city where I live. On the first day I went to the Bone Marrow Transplant Unit and the experience was absolutely incredible. Those nurses do everything I thought a nurse would do - critical thinking, family interaction, etc., etc. It was just amazing the level of complexity and critical thinking of that work.

    That said - how does that compare to the general oncology service at most hospitals. I have only worked BMT so far - and frankly, could spend the next few years working just there. I know I will eventually work general oncology as an extern, and I know that they like their new grads to work general oncology for a while before working BMT. Will I find general oncology a let-down in terms of the intensity of the work and the critical thinking? Any replies and thoughts welcome.
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    Joined: Jun '01; Posts: 561; Likes: 237

    2 Comments

  3. by   all4schwa
    Quote from Stopnik

    Will I find general oncology a let-down in terms of the intensity of the work and the critical thinking? Any replies and thoughts welcome.
    yes, i think so. they aren't as sick on the general onc floor, you would have more patients with less going on. also, generally speaking, because that is typically a monitored unit, you get overflow that are not exactly cancer patients, but that need a cardiac monitor.
  4. by   photonurse11
    I migrated from a general oncology unit to a BMT unit. When I was working on the oncology unit I saw more pt. with drains, PEG tubes, trachs and so forth. With the nurse pt. ratio being 6 - 7 :1, I did not feel the interaction with my pt's as I should have.

    I love working on the BMT unit. I get to spend more time teaching the families and the pt themselves. The work is much more intense at times, but I also find that the younger nurses rely on me to tell them how to use drains and such. It was a great experience working on a oncology unit (when I was younger!), I'm glad to be where I am now.

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