Nursing Career: Challenges for an Oncology Nurse

The huge potential for specialization in nursing profession makes it one of the most noblest professions that gives recognition, competitive remuneration and above all, the mental satisfaction of having made an invaluable impact in a patient’s life.

Having decided to take up nursing as a professional career, the window of opportunities for specialization is a desired field of healthcare will open up once one acquires the basic qualification of a bachelor’s degree in nursing, or BSN, and following it up with a Licensing Examination that grants recognition as a Registered Nurse.

A registered nurse can explore the world of opportunities and then decide a specialized field of nursing which will be best suited to her or him, or the field where the registered nurse finds more job satisfaction. One such specialized field of nursing which is in great demand is Oncology Nursing, where a registered nurse is expected to provide health care assistance to patients suffering from Cancer. According to some estimates, more than 25 million people suffer from this disease across the world. Thanks to advancement in medical technology, it has become possible to completely cure cancer, if detected early enough.

Registered nurses taking up Oncology as their preferred choice of specialization has to face, answer and assert themselves that they have that extra strength and mental stamina to cope with oncology department.

What is the need for that extra challenge in Oncology nursing?

It is the responsibility of a registered nurse to ensure that the patient is provided with adequate healthcare assistance and make an invaluable impact in a patient’s life and their undeclared mission is to transform a patient to a normal person. With oncology, this is not the case in all circumstances. The probability of succumbing to the disease is relatively more with regard to cancer. An oncology nurse treating on a cancer patient should be mentally tough enough to face the inevitable, or, in other words, be bold enough to see the patient, whom he or she served with utmost care and attention, breathe his or her last. The dedication and utmost care shown on the patient might go futile, and this might at times be devastating.

The very thought that cancer is no longer life-threatening and can be cured completely should be the motivating factor for an oncology nurse and setbacks such as death should not undermine or devastate the nurse.

An oncology nurse should provide extra care and assistance to the patient and the family members and educate them, provide a sense of confidence in them while they live under treatment for cancer.

Another challenge to an oncology nurse comes in the form of fear of the patients. Nowadays, thanks to Internet and advancement of knowledge, persons can know a lot about the cancer, the symptoms, the precautions and ill-effects of this disease. A person, suspecting some irregularities, might visit an oncology doctor or oncology nurse practitioner for check up. Once the patient is diagnosed to have symptoms of cancer, the fear of death grapples the patient. Fear is a silent killer for a patient. Here comes the challenge for an oncology nurse in that he or she should educate the patient, tell him or her that cancer is not so deadly, and instill confidence in the patient that his or her disease can be cured.

This entry was posted in Nursing. Bookmark the permalink.