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Oncology Nurses Take Initiative With Three Innovative Programs

Oncology Nurses Take Initiative With Three Innovative Programs

SAN DIEGO, California—At Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, nurses are recruiting newly diagnosed cancer patients into a smoking
cessation program. At Marshfield Clinic Cancer Care, Marshfield, Wisconsin,
nurses are teaching phlebotomists how to do venous access device (VAD) blood
draws. And at St. Joseph Medical Center, Towson, Maryland, nurses have made
depression assessment part of standard oncology care.

"The nurses at each institution saw a need and addressed that
need," said Gabriela Kaplan, RN, MSN AOCN," who moderated a session on innovations
to improve patient outcomes at the Oncology Nursing Society’s 26th Annual
Congress. "In some cases, the innovation did not even require money. It
just required the good intentions of the participants," Ms. Kaplan, an
advanced practice oncology nurse at Bayonne Hospital, Bayonne, New Jersey,
told ONI.

Smoking Cessation

Smoking cessation programs have been offered at Memorial Sloan-Kettering
Cancer Center for many years, and the medical and nursing staff have always
made referrals as needed, Christine Gillens-White, RN, BSN, a Clinical Nurse
III, said at the meeting. "But as clinicians, we saw an opportunity to
grab more patients."

With the new referral program, "we capture patients right after they
are diagnosed—in the preoperative setting," Ms. Gillens-White told ONI. "Being newly diagnosed, they’re more open to smoking cessation
than they might be after they’ve gone through their surgeries and
treatment. So we have initiated this referral and made it a standard part of
our assessment. Our success rate is very good."

The oncology nurses in the Pre-Surgical Center, who specialize in
assessment, plans of care, and education, incorporated a smoking assessment
form to identify smokers and a form for patient referrals.

Patients are asked about their current smoking status and interest in
quitting. Those interested in quitting are counseled on the risks of smoking
and the benefits of quitting during their pre- and postoperative period, and
nurses make the referrals during this preadmission testing period.

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