Oncology nurse’s main duty is to supervise and provide nursing care to cancer patients. They monitor patient’s condition, develop care plans, develop symptom management protocols, and administer medication. They often witness patient’s suffering; however, such tremendous stress is offset by the relationship they form with patients and the families.
The responsibilities of oncology nurses goes beyond direct patient care, with roles as research, manager, consultant, and patient educator. They work hand-in-hand with physicians and other healthcare team members to ensure the greatest quality of care for the patient. The responsibilities and duties of oncology nurses include:
- Create individualized care plans on patient under their supervision and care.
- Recognize and treat cancer-related issues.
- Collaborate with a team of healthcare professionals to share expertise and knowledge.
- Do cancer research to enhance treatment protocols assigned to cancer patients.
- Give supportive resources on the patient and the families to promote positive outlook.
- Teach patients and the families regarding treatment expectations.
- Watch and record the patient’s progress on a constant basis.
- Chart the patient’s response to treatment and medication.
Oncology nurses offer a wide range of service, from cancer prevention to direct care through palliative, supportive, and rehabilitative services. Many oncology nurses specialize in the care of children with cancer and are referred to as pediatric oncology nurses.
Oncology nurses often work in sterile hospital environments and some work in community clinics. Oncology nurses should adhere to strict confidentiality terms and policies because of the delicate health condition of patients with cancer. Full-time oncology nurses usually work 40 hours a week but might need to be available 24/7 for emergency situations.