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Oncology nurse

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  1. oncnursemsn

    OCN exam - help!

    Hi! Good for you that you want to get certified after 2 years of oncology experience! You didn't say where you live, but in Boston (where I am) a lot of the larger hospitals have a "certification review" all day class. It's free for the organization's nurses and usually around 100.00 for non-employees It's a comprehensive overview of what you should know for the OCN exam. Are other nurses at your facility certified? What strategies did they use? Networking might be helpful too. Good luck!! Jessie (RN, MSN, AOCNS)
  2. oncnursemsn

    High School Student Wants to be an Oncology Nurse

    Hi Nurse Beth- and thank you for your timely advice. As an Advanced Oncology Nurse Specialist and former nursing professor, may I add a few additional suggestions? An oncology nurse navigator typically needs 2-5 years nursing/oncology experience. It's a tough and complicated road with symptom management, insurance issues and treatment decisions. Experience makes a difference with cancer care so complicated. Ambulatory oncology nurses also need a year or two- and should be an Oncology Certified Nurse (OCN) for outpatient care. As a very new nurse with basic skills, I suggest an in-patient oncology/med/surg unit. The new nurse will develop delegation skills and begin to understand the complications and nuances of caring for a cancer patient and their family members. I've been a member of the Oncology Nursing Society and they are an excellent resource. Thank you again! Jessie Brodbeck, RN, MSN, AOCNS
  3. oncnursemsn

    Politics in Nursing... HELP!

    I'm so sorry you have experienced short staffing- as you know, not unusual. But you have done it! You have completed a year and now can move on to the acute care setting you desire. You didn't say if you have ASN or BSN or what city/town you live in. It can be challenging so I advise you to perfect your resume and get good references in order. Is there an area you would like to get certification? Obtain certification in your area of interest and put on your best professional face. I promise it does get better when you find your niche!
  4. oncnursemsn

    Choice, Pathology, and the Disease Model of Addiction

    Congratulations MayRN2987. This is a tough journey for sure. Most if not many of our colleagues do not understand the struggle. Please know you are so strong and I understand as well. Keep going to meetings, hang with those who know and are "friends of Bill" and take it one day at a time. And realize you can't do this alone and know you have people who have your back. I'm editing this because I honor you as a parent of young children. Wow. I'm humbled as I don't have children.
  5. oncnursemsn

    Choice, Pathology, and the Disease Model of Addiction

    Phenomenal posting. Well written and researched. Should be required reading for all who go into nursing or are nurses. It's reality folk- you will encounter addiction in patients, family members and even medical professionals. As nurses we have to give up the judgement, misconceptions and provide the best care that we can. Put your biases aside and look at the biology. I've been an oncology nurse and educator my entire career and am half way through a DNP program in nursing education and appreciate this post. It's taken a long time but I realize addiction is as much a disease as cancer, heart disease or diabetes. It's just as nurses we tend to care for the medical before the psychiatric. Right? Right.
  6. oncnursemsn

    The good ole days of nursing...share your stories!

    Love this post and yes! Remember when you sat for your boards and it was 2 days? Not single day at the computer under lock down. I think we had it good.
  7. oncnursemsn

    The Insidious Nature of Compassion Fatigue

    This is amazing- thank you. I don't work in an emergency department but have been an oncology nurse 34 years - and like you- am a doctoral student , but now in my 3rd year. I'm struggling with what I think is compassion fatigue, burn out? I'm exhausted and just tonight incredibly sad after in my ambulatory heme/onc unit admitted an "ambulatory" patient who was actively dying. For the third time this week. We just don't do palliative care and dealt with the family all day. My unit is an 18 chair infusion dept where we administer chemo/blood products and general infusions. I'm disgusted, infuriated and terribly depressed and I have no answers. Will look into your survey if I would be appropriate respondent?
  8. oncnursemsn

    Suspended for a Medication Error

    Thank you for clarifying- please go back and re-read the original post. This happened many years ago and she has gone on to earn her master's degree. I don't think those who wrote her up were bipolar or lying. I admit I'm distracted by difficulty getting through your spelling and punctuation but I don't want to distract from the original post.
  9. oncnursemsn

    Ethical issue? Treating a 101 year old patient

    Would love to. As Charge Nurse I can't just stop. Have to plow on and treat. I'm not sure the patient truly understands but her family doesn't want to give up. Really?
  10. I've been an oncology nurse a long time- over 34 years. For the first time I'm posting on Allnurses because of my moral distress and lack of consensus. I have booked a woman who is 101 years old for Keytruda next week for aggressive head and neck cancer. Her oncologist thinks it's appropriate that she wants treatment and is over the moon that he gets the credit for this new treatment. I believe it's wrong on so many levels that I don't know where to begin. First- is she able to give consent? Yes. Is she frail and with a very poor prognosis? Yes. Would she benefit from palliative care and hospice care? Absolutely. Do we care about cost and providing appropriate end of life care? Er, not so much. SO when your co-pays and deductives and cost of routine health care go up- I do not want to hear about it. This is an incredibly costly treatment for one who will likely experience very little benefit. I'm simply sickened and had long discussion with medical/nursing friends over Thanksgiving dinner and got very different viewpoints. Do I value life? Of course! The surgeon weighed in with his "do whatever it takes." This patient is approaching 102 years old and I'm sad and distressed. Thoughts?
  11. oncnursemsn

    America, party of 2

    You might be surprised but healthcare is more costly than ever before. You, my friend get to pay for everyone who has cancer, premature babies or end of life care. Do you know that ICU care is expensive? That cancer drugs have increased over 100% in the past 5 years? Of course you do! You voted for Trunp who is the expert in the Affordable Care Act. And that 22 million Americans who now have insurance might not. Because Obama never did anything to help us out. You and the president elect are our experts and I"m so relieved. You got this and it's solved.
  12. oncnursemsn

    Anxiety following patient death

    Dear Hockeynurse, First, you did nothing wrong. Your patient was actively dying and you did the best thing to make him comfortable. There is always the "last dose" which is not what causes your patient to die- they were dying all along. You did the best you could to make sure he was not suffering. Please don't doubt or second guess yourself. You have many nurses, friends and family members who thank you for decreasing and ceasing his suffering.
  13. I'm about 1/2 through my DNP. I think there is no down side to more education and wish nursing as a profession started with the BSN at entry level. That being said, I taught at the associate level 16 semesters. There is merit to getting associate's degree but we lose respect from other professions because we're not always viewed as equals with ASN as acceptable. I know there will be flak but I don't believe nursing will be recognized as an equal profession in the medical community until BSN is mandatory. Have you even seen what physical and occupational therapists are required to do?? Doctorates. It's crazy.
  14. oncnursemsn

    Which Master's Degree?

    I'm just echoing everyone else's advise. And I'm a bit jealous you have tuition reimbursement so I say just go for it! If you love nursing and think you might want to teach, go for education. I"m not a manager or administrator so teaching is my passion. I got my master's over 20 years ago and have never, ever regretted it. I have to think you won't either. I'm in a doctoral program and it's challenging but my passion and love. I have to believe you'll find your way. Just my 2 cents.
  15. oncnursemsn

    Spiritual Care and Nursing: How Does This Work?

    I would be humbled and honored if a patient ever asked me to pray with them. I have certainly prayed for my patients and families- but it was only when they were leaving and asked as they were on the way out the door. We hug and off they go. Thank you for your post- and I still pray for my patients!