“Time is of the essence” is a phrase we often hear, but it may be inevitable that a lapse in time occurs in clinical practice on occasion. In oncology, every second counts, whether it be wait time at a clinic or how quickly a patient gets access to potentially lifesaving care. Although these efforts seem like second nature to many healthcare workers, they aren’t always easily executed.
In the cover story of the February issue of Oncology Nursing News®
, you will meet an oncology nurse who has made it her mission to improve the burden that patients with cancer face daily. Lauren Gjolaj, MBA, BSN, RN, director of clinical operations at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Hospital and Clinics, works with her team to create lasting solutions. Two examples in which she has already done so include reducing wait and laboratory turnaround time as well as creating the Neutropenic Fever Task Force team at her clinic.
Gjolaj discusses her keys to success that she says can be used by oncology nurses everywhere. And while she admits that her award-winning changes didn’t come easy, they certainly paid off in the end for those who it matters to most: patients. Her advice is to start small and build from there.
This issue of Oncology Nursing News®
also addresses sexual health concerns of patients. Often considered a personal topic, it is one that means a lot to patients and their partners. They may be experiencing sexual difficulties as a result of their cancer care and may be too embarrassed to start the conversation. That’s where nurses can step in. You may ask yourself, “How do I bring up sexuality?” or “What if I’m uncomfortable talking about sex with a patient?” A fellow oncology nurse offers tips to ease communication on this sensitive subject.
Our editor in chief brings to light a growing problem in the healthcare industry: drug and minibag shortages. She examines how it all began and what is currently being done to help alleviate the issue.
In a follow-up to the Professionally Speaking column in our December issue, we examine if it’s ever OK for a nurse to give a patient a gift. Your instinct may tell you one thing, but that action could result in a violation of a professional boundary.
Also in this issue, the use of cryotherapy to reduce symptoms of chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy, how parental interaction behaviors affect a child’s pain and distress, and how a hula hoop and a dedicated nurse helped regain a patient’s trust in the healthcare system.
We hope you find these articles informative, and as always, thank you for reading.
Mike Hennessy, Sr
Chairman and CEO