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mcstanton1505's Latest Activity

  1. mcstanton1505

    Peds Heme-Onc nursing- question/advice

    Well at least in my hospital, patient interaction in our hem-onc dept is a high priority. They've recognized that hem-onc burnout among nurses happens when they don't get to know their patients and also we need to keep an eye on the families emotional state etc. They are often at their outpatient appointments for several hours so even the outpatient nurses really get to know them. As an adrenalin junkie (EMT for 2 years, ER RN for 4), we don't have enough "impending emergencies" for my taste, but everything else about the specialty makes up for it. The goal is definitely to avoid impending emergencies, especially among admitted patients (in outpatient you can't avoid the fever-neutropenia patients coming from home. It happens) Your ICU experience will definitely be helpful in identifying potential emergencies and getting them assistance or transferred to the PICU promptly.
  2. mcstanton1505

    Peds Heme-Onc nursing- question/advice

    I work in a peds hem-onc-BMT clinic/day hospital but I thought I would pitch in anyway because we see the same population. I can't help you with ratios since I'm outpatient and personally see anywhere from 3-16 patients a day depending on how intensive each one is (I have three rooms at any given time). We do anything from simply draw labs, to infusing chemo and blood products, to running fever-neutropenia/near-code cases. We access ports, CVCs, PICCs, and perform venipuncture every day. We do a little of everything, which is unique to outpatient but that's because we do, as you said, see the sickest patients. No other population would be allowed to leave the hospital with the counts our kids have. When I transferred here from the emergency room I routinely panicked over lab results that the other nurses would barely glance at before replying "Oh that's normal for them" or even "Those look great! Their counts are really improving!" Yes, they are some of the sickest patients, but most of the time you wouldn't know it. I've never taken care of a more inspiring population. Kids are so resilient and you don't see it better anywhere else. One pre-teen girl has so embraced her baldness: she has the largest collection of embellished headbands any of us have ever seen and she ROCKS a new one daily; she is so sassy, I love her! I have many pre-school age patients who handle their port accesses with amazing stoicism. And the families are amazing with their patience and overall outlook on life, even if they have already lost one or more children to the same disease. Coming from PICU you are no doubt accustomed to bonding with patients and families and then experiencing their loss, but it will get worse if you move to hem-onc because you won't just know them for days or weeks or months but years. You will see them be declared disease-free just to see them come back a month or a year later, relapsed. You will sing and dance and celebrate with them when they go into remission even though you know the probability that it will not last. You will be them when they are diagnosed with things like DIPG which are literally death sentences -- no cure in sight -- and watch them decide to participate in trials that provide no hope for them but may one day give us a cure for someone else. You will repeatedly poke them to draw labs that are only for the benefit of others as they grow weaker and weaker. But it will be worth it because of who they are. Because they are the weakest and strongest people in the world. So depending on why exactly PICU is no longer for you, hem-onc could be an excellent or horrible switch. I got burnt out in the ED from the constant rush and the feeling that I wasn't making the most of my time with the non-urgent cases that came through and only took my current position in hem-onc because it was the only one available but I have fallen in love with it. The people who tend to work hem-onc are also a special breed of caring loving and supportive nurses who treat their coworkers as well as they treat their patients. Good luck!
  3. I was hoping someone had a copy of Essentials of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Nursing (the third edition, not the current one) that I could get my hands on. We could set up an Ebay auction or something to make it safe and private for all involved. I don't want to pay $125 for the new edition and also a friend of mine has the 3rd edition and has already highlighted the whole thing and I want to copy her highlights into my copy (can't do that if I buy a different edition!) I've tried Googling it but the only copy I could find was some lunatic who wants $2,000 for it on Amazon (Seriously?) Thanks!