In this weekly feature, the editors of SpringBoard highlight one career in the health care professions–including a basic description, educational requirements, core competencies/key skills needed, and related web sites and professional organizations where you can find more information!
Chemotherapy nursing is a specialty within oncology nursing. Chemotherapy nurses administer and monitor the patient receiving chemotherapeutic agents as ordered by physicians. Working closely with oncologists and pharmacists, their job responsibilities could also include obtaining patient histories, collecting specimens, evaluating effectiveness of treatment, and educating patients on treatment and follow-up care.
A registered nurse license is required, and Bachelor of Science in Nursing is preferred; Basic Life Support certification is required, and Advanced Cardiac Life Support certification is preferred; certification as Oncology Certified Nurse could be obtained by passing a certification examination offered by the Oncology Nursing Society’s Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation. For recertification, 1,000 hours of clinical practice in oncology and continuing professional development activities are required.
CORE COMPETENCIES/SKILLS NEEDED
- Excellent intravenous skills including starting, maintaining, and troubleshooting common intravenous access problems
- Excellent communication skills and organizational skills
- Knowledge of cancer, its pathophysiology, and common treatments and side effects
RELATED WEB SITES AND PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS
- Oncology Nursing Society (www.ons.org)
- Johnson and Johnson Discover Nursing (http://www.discovernursing.com/specialty/oncology-nurse)
- Association of Pediatric Hematology Oncology Nurses (www.aphon.org)