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How to be an Oncology Nurse
Being an oncology nurse takes special knowledge and skills in dealing with patients that are not commonly admitted to a medical ward. Basically speaking, oncology nurses are responsible in taking good care of cancer patients, in implementing the orders of the doctors with regards to their medications and treatment regimen. More so, nurses assigned in this area really need to be knowledgeable enough with what they are dealing with and they should be skillful in what they do. Patients with cancer are so sensitive to foreign bodies which can give them infection. As such, it is the responsibility of the health care providers to make sure that infection will be prevented in implementing strict measures such as reverse isolation, limiting visitors, and good hand hygiene, avoidance of putting fresh fruits and vegetables inside the patient’s room and so on. One more crucial reason why nurses need to have special training in this field is that the cancer medications can pose danger to them and to the patients if not handled and prepared well. In the same way, treatment regimen for cancer such as radiation and chemotherapy also have their own special nursing considerations that must be adhered in order to prevent causing harm both to the patient and the nurses. Given all these information, you would know that being an oncology nurse is a serious matter not just because you are dealing with lives here; but more so, because you are dealing with highly sensitive and even terminal patients with very potent medications and hazardous treatment regimens. If you want to be an oncology nurse, here are the steps that you should follow: 1. You should obtain your license as a nurse. Of course, this precedes the fact that you should first finish your degree in nursing and pass the NCLEX. 2. Once you already earned your license to practice, you can already apply in the position of a staff nurse in the hospital. If you are lucky enough, you can be immediately hired as an oncology nurse while your senior nurses oversee you on your actions. On the other hand, if the hospital doesn’t permit new graduate nurses in the oncology unit, then you can accept other positions for the meantime. What matters this time is that you don’t waste your time; you should gain work experience. 4. Although it isn’t necessary, it is still helpful that you take the certification to be an oncology nurse. It’s just that if you have this, your chance of being hired in this field is higher. You can ask the Oncology Nursing Society about the Oncology Nursing Certification Program (ONCP).
5. Once you gained your certification, you can re-apply to other hospitals or you can request to be transferred to the oncology unit. Hopefully, you will gain a positive response. 6. Reaching your goal of being an oncology nurse isnâ€™t the ultimate destination for you. In other words, you should not be comfortable in your status. It is necessary that you take continuing nursing education and constantly join in nursing conferences, seminars, trainings and workshops in order to keep you updated in the latest in nursing, especially to your area of specialization.