oncology

NursetopiaMashupCroppedJust like I do with hardcopy journals and books, I tend to save up articles in my email box until I get time to binge-read. Here’s some of what I’ve been reading that I’ve saved for a while. There’s some pretty good stuff here!

Do you save articles and tweets in your email inbox, too? What’s piling up in there?

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I previously published a free, printable card celebrating nurses who just obtained their RN licenses. I’ve added another version – in red – of that card to the original post. 

And thanks to a sweet friend who was looking for a card to celebrate two nurses who recently obtained their OCN (Oncology Certified Nurse) credentials, I’ve updated the cards to reflect that congratulations, as well. Hooray for new OCNs!

Download and enjoy the coral version.

ThoseOCNcredentialsLookMightyGoodOnYa

Or, you can download and enjoy the red version.

ThoseOCNcredentialsLookMightyGoodOnYa-RED

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On May 21, 2014, the world lost a light and beautiful writer, Lindsey Miller; she was 28.

While I never met Lindsey in person, I found her blog, i am a liver, early on in her pancreatic neuroendocrine cancer journey. As a young adult cancer “liver,” as she put it, her posts were poignant and beautiful and raw and real and inspirational and full of life.

I read Lindsey’s words as her posts crossed my inbox. I will miss her voice. She touched my life. I remember her.

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Happy, Happy Oncology Nurses Month!

by Nursetopia on May 1, 2014

HoorayForOncologyNursesIt’s May, and for oncology nurses all around the world, that means one giant celebration month! Now, I love, love, love the nursing profession, but I must be honest; I am biased towards oncology nurses. I can’t help it…I am an oncology nurse myself. I feel at home around oncology nurses; they’re my people, my tribe, my community…whatever you want to call it.

Oncology nurses are a special group. (I know, I know…what nursing specialty isn’t “special,” right?!) And oncology in and of itself is a complex area of care. There’s never a dull moment, and it seems like there is always a new drug, protocol, treatment to learn. It’s innovative, and oncology nurses help lead the way in that, too, using evidence (or generating it!) to guide patient care. Oncology nurses beautifully blend the art and science of health care.

I am so glad I’m an oncology nurse, and I certainly plan to celebrate my nursing specialty and colleagues this month. Do you have an oncology nurse in your life or work? Be sure to celebrate him or her this month!

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inPractice® Oncology Nursing has a brand new textbook resource available to help nurses at the bedside or chairside. Broken into clinically relevant segments and chock full of evidence-based practice guidelines and information, inPractice® Oncology Nursing has chapters upon chapters of education, laid out in bite-sized pieces, which is perfect for just-in-time expert information. The graphic-heavy content has a hint of Pinterest for oncology professionals, making the content easy to grasp and retain. All evidence-based guidelines and reference journal articles are hyperlinked throughout the online text, so nurses can quickly go straight to the evidence as well as national practice-guiding documents across topics. In addition, the content itself is hyperlinked, so nurses can scan from issue to issue if they’d like to learn more about certain topics. With a robust table of content, inPractice® Oncology Nursing is a comprehensive oncology nursing textbook like no other.

I had the privilege to be a part of this ground-breaking oncology nurse textbook development. I love the combination of strong content with aesthetically-pleasing, easy-to-understand graphics that help support the content. I can attest to the strength of the information as all references and guidelines were thoroughly checked and then each chapter was passed through a rigorous peer review process. And since this textbook is online, updates are a breeze. In fact, inPractice® Oncology Nursing has been published since the end of February 2014, and my section (on survivorship) has already had content updates based on new evidence in the field. Now that is timely, accurate, and reliable oncology nursing support.

Check out the new resource, and if you’re attending the 39th Annual Oncology Nursing Congress in Anaheim, May 1 – 4, you can stop by the inPractice® exhibit booth to talk with some of the experts and learn more about the textbook that is helping redefine oncology nursing education.

Disclosure: I served as a section editor and chapter author for inPractice® Oncology Nursing. I was compensated for my involvement to develop the resource. All thoughts here are my own. I did not receive remuneration to share my thoughts. 

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Never heard of a Certified Cancer (or Tumor) Registrar? You’re not alone. Even people within the oncology world often do not know about these amazing team members. The reason? They work behind the scenes and do so much background work that they make the Invisible Woman look like Captain Obvious.

Ever wondered how we get our cancer statistics like incidence, prevalence, mortality, and survival rates? That’s all because Tumor Registrars abstract data from individual patient charts over the course of a cancer patient’s lifetime. Curious how providers know whether or not specific treatment regimens make a difference in patient outcomes over time? Yep, that’s a Tumor Registrar’s work, too. Inquired whether there are certain clusters of cancers in specific locations that may be tied to environment, diet, etc. Oh, yes…thank a Tumor Registrar for those nuggets of info, also.

Cancer Registries are incredible sources of data; they are absolutely vital to our patient care, our healthcare system, and to public health. If I need data as an oncology administrator, the Cancer Registry (my local, state, and national ones) are the very first places I look to for help. These professionals are that amazing.

On top of all of that work, Cancer Registries are often the departments that help coordinate tumor boards as well as American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer accreditation pieces.

Do you know your Certified Cancer Registrars and Cancer Registry team? If not, you need to meet them. Today. And thank them while you’re at it.

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Think of your favorite song of the moment. How does it make you feel; does it change your mood? Maybe the way your feeling impacts your “favorite” song right now. Both, actually.

Music is powerful. It has the influence to change our emotions, but it also has the capability to help us express ever-changing feelings. Music therapy for cancer patients is an evidence-based care strategy to reduce anxiety and even help improve pain management. Yet, it is often missing from oncology services. In ten years of oncology nursing, I have never had the opportunity to work in a clinic setting with music therapy services. I haven’t had the chance to actually see the difference music therapy can make for patients; that means literally thousands of patients haven’t had that service offered to them alongside their clinical care. That’s incredibly disappointing.

I want the chance to change that for the patients I currently help serve.

Will you please take literally two minutes to vote for my cancer center to receive the Jeffrey Frank Wacks Music Therapy Program via funding from LIVESTRONG? Voting ends Friday, April 11th, at 5 PM Eastern. Vote once and then follow the corresponding links to share via Facebook as well as Twitter to garner a total of 3 votes to help bring this amazing program.

With three days remaining to vote, I’d love your help to improve lives.

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Since its formal inception in 2002, the Jeffrey Frank Wacks Music Therapy Program has become an essential component of the Carol G. Simon Cancer Center, a subsidiary of Morristown Medical Center’s integrative approach to caring for cancer patients. The Jeffrey Frank Wacks Music Therapy Program, one of the longest-running programs of its kind in the country, has demonstrated great success in serving the people of the communities where the program is currently offered. The program’s overarching goal is to facilitate relaxation, decrease anxiety and stress, enhance wellness, improve pain management and provide comfort and support for cancer patients and their caregivers.

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In Retrospect: 2013’s ‘One Word’

by Nursetopia on December 31, 2013

Each year I select one word to help focus me. Here’s my hindsight reflections of my 2011 one word and my 2012 one wordIt’s amazing how the one word threads throughout the months, frightening sometimes. I guess that’s the purpose and should be expected as I think of the word continuously, right?

NewMy one word for 2013 was “new.” I was extremely excited about the obvious word for the New Year. Indeed, “new” dominated my life in 2013. I read (or listened to) numerous new books, including completing a long-time favorite and honored book in a shortened timeframe, which was a goal of mine. I enjoyed several new recipes, including learning to bake bread. My husband and I instituted a new rule for our date nights; we had to go to a new restaurant each and every date night out. It made for some of our best dates, and now it is a permanent rule for us, which has been incredibly fun for our rut-prone, eat-the-same-thing-every-time selves. I wrote a lot of new poetry; some of my favorites this year are Greater ThanPainting CareWhen Leaders Cry, and MissingI made several new, free, printable cards for anyone to have and use; some of my most-loved ones are Seek-And-Find Customizable Nursing AppreciationDon’t StopTriple-Threat Nurse, and No Wonder Nursing Uniforms Had CapesI had two new bosses within the year, one expected and one unexpected. I was invited to join a #BCSM Twitter chat as an expert panelist, which was incredibly fun, and I also served as the Oncology Nursing Society’s 38th Annual Congress Chair, which was, without a doubt, an experience of a lifetime. And after living in our new home – our first-owned home – for only a year (yes, one year!!and just months after we newly painted and developed the space just for us, we sold our home, moved to a new city, and I started a new job – a great opportunity and tremendous responsibility to hire much of a new team and open a new cancer center.

Whew. 

New is great. What I didn’t really think through at the beginning of the year, though, was that new always – always - comes right after change. [gulp] Now, I’m not typically scared of change, which is a good thing, but a lot of change and a lot of new definitely make for stressful and scary times. 2013 has felt like a roller coaster in many, many ways.

I’m ready for 2014, complete with a new word and all, which I will share tomorrow! Have a safe and happy New Year’s Eve!

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To be entirely honest, the only thing my eyes have been looking at in my off-time lately has been the back of my eyelids. And it’s been awesome….exactly what I’ve needed. That, along with some guilty-pleasure television (The Sing Off, anyone??) and holiday goodies. Yep, I’m feeling refreshed. Here’s some of what I’ve caught over the last few weeks, though:

What about you? Been reading much lately? If so, what?

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Screen Shot 2013-09-09 at 7.27.54 PMYeehaaaw! It’s time for the 4th Annual Cowtown Oncology Symposium in Fort Worth, Texas.

I am a Texan – born and bred. Contrary to popular belief and pervasive stereotypes, I don’t routinely say yeehaaaw, still, the Cowtown Oncology Symposium is so fun and enlightening that it’s worth breaking out my Southern drawl, Y’all.

The planning committee cordially invites you to submit your abstract on oncology, radiation, hospice, and palliative care nursing trends for poster presentation by January 31, 2014. Submission guidelines are below, so giddy up!

COS Poster Abstract Submission Guidelines

P.S. And, if presenting isn’t your thing (which it totally can be your thing no matter your level of leadership!), you should definitely attend the Symposium. It’s set in beautiful and historic Fort Worth on the fabulous Texas Christian University campus.

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