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Multiple Myeloma Treatment- What Oncology Nurses Need to Know-

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“Oncology nurses specialize in offering medical care to cancer patients. Becoming an oncology nurse may be the right choice for you if you want to meet the needs of cancer patients.”

Looking back, at every step of my multiple myeloma treatment, it was oncology nurses that did the heavy lifting, supported me, etc. In short, oncology nurses made the difference.

I am one of the cancer patients that the article below talks about. I was diagnosed with multiple myeloma (MM) in early 1994. According to conventional oncology, multiple myeloma is an incurable blood cancer. I’ve lived with this incurable blood cancer for more than 25 years as of the writing of this post.

The first thing that oncology nurses have to learn is that there is a lot that conventional oncologists don’t know.

I underwent an autologous stem cell transplant in December of 1995. I was in the hospital for 21 days. I was scared, sick, lonely-every negative emotion a newly diagnosed MM patient can experience. I can tell you without a doubt that my oncology nurses made all the difference during those 21 days.

If you decide to become an oncology nurse, I think you’ll find it to be both difficult and rewarding.

David Emerson

  • Multiple Myeloma Survivor
  • MM Cancer Coach
  • Director PeopleBeatingCancer

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What You Need to Know Before You Become an Oncology Nurse

Registered nurses have several areas of specialization to choose from based on their preference and training. Oncology nurses specialize in offering medical care to cancer patients. Becoming an oncology nurse may be the right choice for you if you want to meet the needs of cancer patients. However, you need to consider the certification and education requirements of the profession. You also need to consider the job description of an oncology nurse before making the final decision. Here is a brief description of the requirements and duties of an oncology nurse.

Education Requirements

Oncology nurses are required to complete a bachelor’s or an associate’s degree in nursing as a minimum requirement to enter the field. Some employers accept a nursing diploma for you should consider taking an RN to MSN online. A bachelor’s degree takes four years to complete while associate and diploma programs take two years. If you want to advance your career and qualify for better opportunities, consider pursuing a master’s degree in nursing or MSN in nursing administration. You can specialize in oncology in your master’s program as well.

You need to obtain a state license as a registered nurse after completing your degree program. Obtaining a license means taking and passing the standard tests, which vary across states. You cannot find a job legally without the license. You may be required to obtain other licenses and registration depending on the laws in your state.

Learning Options

You need to identify the learning method that suits your lifestyle and daily schedule. The traditional way of obtaining your degree or diploma is registering for an on-campus program at your preferred institution. An alternative way of learning is enrolling in an online nursing program. One of the latest methods of learning in healthcare is simulation learning. According to this paper by the Bradley University nursing administration program, simulation learning has proved effective in other fields, including aviation and defense.

Simulation learning has been introduced in health care to help nurses learn without risking the lives of their patients. Simulation learning enables institutions to utilize multimedia and technology to enhance the learning experience. Some of the approaches to simulation learning in nursing include role-playing, virtual platforms, and computerized manikins among other techniques.

Roles and Responsibilities

One important consideration when deciding on a career as an oncology nurse is your future job duties. The job description of oncology nurses is different from that of other nurses. Your job will revolve around patients receiving cancer treatment. You will be required to manage their treatment procedures and implement instructions from their doctors. Hence, you will work closely with specialists in cancer treatment. Other responsibilities of oncology nurses include administering chemotherapy, antibiotics, and radiation therapy to cancer patients. In case your patients need blood, you will be required to administer blood transfusions.

Your journey to becoming an oncology nurse starts with enrolling in a bachelor’s or associate degree program. After your graduation, you will take a test to obtain a state license and become a registered nurse. Your job will revolve around managing treatments for cancer patients. Pursuing a master’s degree will open up better job opportunities for you including administrator, advanced nurse practitioner, and educator positions.

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1 comment
David Emerson says 7 years ago

Oncology Nursing News-

Change in Diet May Improve Fatigue in Patients with Breast Cancer
– See more at: http://nursing.onclive.com/web-exclusives/change-in-diet-may-improve-fatigue-in-patients-with-breast-cancer#sthash.Lr6tSpMR.dpuf

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