One of the specialized areas in nursing career that is in great demand is Oncology Nursing.
Who is an Oncology Nurse?
A nurse providing healthcare assistance to patients suffering from cancer disease in a hospital environment, especially in specialty hospitals dedicated for cancer treatment, will be referred to as an Oncology nurse practitioner.
There is no specific age or condition for the disease to visit a patient. It can affect any person, either a child or an old person. An oncology nurse needs to handle all types of patients not differentiated by age.
What does an oncology nurse do?
It is the responsibility of an oncology nurse to extend health care assistance to cancer patients. As part of their normal or routine duties, they should educate the patient as well as the family members of the patient about the effects or impact of cancer. The nurse should provide moral support to the patient and the family members. Chemotherapy is a specialized treatment for curing and/or arresting the spread of cancer in a patient’s body. Oncology nurses will be responsible for administering chemotherapy, manage the side effects, if any, that may arise due to chemotherapy treatment, and above all, constantly assess the needs of cancer patients, both in terms of healthcare and also in terms of awareness of the disease.
In most cases, an oncology nurse will work as a member of a team of healthcare professionals including support staff.
Oncology nursing is a specialized option in nursing career and a nurse with the basic qualification of a bachelor’s degree in nursing and license as a registered nurse cannot take up a career in Oncology Nursing.
Additional qualifications are essential to become an oncology nurse. After completing the basic graduation course as a registered nurse, it is essential to take up some specialized training courses on cancer cure and treatments. A registered nurse can choose to take up online courses, coursework or clinical practice in oncology to gain the required experience and expertise in treating cancer patients.
Getting registered in specialized Oncology nursing departments is one essential thing a registered nurse should do. Specialized courses, including the latest developments in the field of cancer cure and treatment, will be imparted in those departments.
Cancer is no longer a life-threatening disease. However, the number of people suffering from cancer is on the rise and hence the need for more number of oncology nurses. The salary package for a qualified oncology nurse is competitive and is among the best in the nursing profession.
An Oncology Nurse has the option of further growth to become an Oncology Nurse Practitioner.