Oncology Nurses’ Role and Nursing Practice in Advanced Cancer Patients (ACN’s)

The purpose of this article is to explore the role and the practice of oncology nurses in advanced cancer patients (ACPs), as well as their contribution as therapeutic team members in providing quality care. ACPs develop many and serious health problems, have important unmet needs, and need support from a multidisciplinary health team. They increase the health cost and exert tremendous pressure on the health care system for available services. Extremely high physical, emotional and financial demands are placed on caregivers, especially the family and close relatives. In order to provide quality care to ACPs, nurses should have specialized knowledge and skills in oncology nursing and research, effective communication and interpersonal skills, as well as the ability to cope in a stressful work environment. In addition, nurses should provide holistic support to patients and their families. Oncology nurses act as patient advocates, counselors, coordinators, managers. They also act as tutors to new nurses. An important parameter of the holistic approach of ACPs is palliative care provided to end of life patients, the bioethical problems that usually arise and the care of caregivers. The satisfaction of indivualized needs contribute to improvements in the quality of care and to a peaceful death, while it relieves the grief and bereavement of caregivers. The implementation of clinical protocols and guidelines, the strengthening of the role and autonomy of nurses in managing ACPs and the establishment of continuity of care from hospital to outpatient services and vice-versa, constitute basic requirements designed to improve patient care by specialized oncology nurses.

Category: Volume 52, N 2
Hits: 1109 Hits
Created Date: 15-06-2013
Authors: Theocharis Konstantinidis , Anastasios Philalithis