The August issue of The Oncology Nurse-APN/PA (TON) is filled with important news and insights for today’s oncology nurse. We begin our coverage with a profile of the Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, PA, as we speak with Elizabeth Capaldi, RN, BSN, OCN, who discusses her role as a nurse in the center’s infusion room, the significant life events that influenced her choice to become an oncology nurse, the rewards of her job, and what she finds exciting in the evolving field of oncology.
“It is so rewarding to see a patient in remission at 1 year, at 5 years, and at 10 years. This is one of the best feelings in the world,” she said.
We also feature key presentations and studies from recent national meetings, including the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) 44th Annual Conference, the 2019 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting, and the Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC) 45th Annual Meeting and Cancer Center Business Summit.
In an enlightening session at ONS, Lisa Chism, DNP, APRN, NCMP, FAANP, Clinical Director, Women’s Wellness Clinic, Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI, emphasized the importance of discussing sexual health with female patients who have undergone cancer treatment and shared tips to help oncology nurses broach the topic more confidently.
“So, how do we fix the problem? We get comfortable. We increase the knowledge base, and we get more comfortable with sexuality ourselves, so that we can talk to our patients,” she said.
In a separate session at ONS, Susan B. Childress, MN, RN, OCN, Director of Nursing Services, Huntsman Cancer Institute, Salt Lake City, UT, discussed the ongoing problem of compassion fatigue among workers in caregiving professions, and explained how her institution is combating this issue by creating a more compassionate workplace. She also shared ways in which oncology nurses can achieve similar results at their own centers.
At ACCC, a panel of experts discussed the value of digital health technology and whether it can be broadly implemented into clinical practice to improve the lives of patients.
“The goal for much of this technology is to better utilize resources so we can spend more time with patients,” said Adam P. Dicker, MD, PhD, FASTRO, Professor, Senior Vice President and Chair, Enterprise Radiation Oncology, Professor of Radiation Oncology, Pharmacology, & Experimental Therapeutics, Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA.
This issue of TON also features a presentation from ASCO that revealed some of the significant improvements in cancer diagnosis and treatment associated with expanded access to Medicaid benefits under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
“This study extends prior evidence regarding the effect of ACA and tells us that national healthcare coverage policies may reduce disparities. Electronic health records can be a valuable resource for research on treatment patterns, disparities, and interventions,” said senior investigator Amy Davidoff, PhD, MS, Senior Research Scientist, Public Health (Health Policy), Yale School of Public Health, New Haven, CT.
As always, we hope you will enjoy this issue of TON and look forward to receiving your feedback. You can contact us via e-mail at [email protected].