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Palliative Care Is Not Just for End of Life

By MIKE HENNESSY, SR.
PUBLISHED WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 31, 1969
In this issue of Oncology Nursing News®,we welcome our new editor in chief, Deborah A. Boyle, MSN, RN, AOCNS, FAAN, whose extensive nursing knowledge, combined with her experience as a writer and editor, will lead us into a new era of publishing excellence. Her first article, “Oral Oncolytics Are Changing Nursing Practice,” cuts to the heart of an issue of concern to many nurses: how their jobs are changing due to the use of oral therapies for cancer.

Our cover story highlights an innovative program that has been growing for years to fill the gap that exists in nursing education around end-of-life care. The End-of-Life Nursing Education Consortium (ELNEC) was born from a desire to ensure that patients at the end of their lives receive appropriate pain relief and comfort. In addition to this goal, another has emerged over the last several years: providing palliative care for patients earlier in their cancer journey.

Pam Malloy, MN, RN, FPCN, FAAN, project director and co-investigator at ELNEC; Betty Ferrell, PhD, MA, RN, FAAN, FPCN, CHPN, who helped found ELNEC; and others share how the program educates nurses about palliative care, the benefits of early implementation, and ways to address barriers that might prevent patients from achieving their objectives with the time they have.

This month’s feature article reveals what oncology nurses say when others ask, “Isn’t your job depressing?” A new Careers column spotlights nurses who were inspired to choose their profession because of experiences they had as patients with cancer. In another new column, Voices, Jean Sellers, MSN, RN, administrative clinical director, UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, shares her personal experience as a caregiver to her father during his illness and how a compassionate nurse opened her eyes to what a “good death” could look like. Articles from our partners explore videoconferencing for distance caregivers, and how to identify anxiety and depression in men with prostate cancer.

This issue’s Continuing Education section covers news and developments from the 2018 American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting in the areas of myelodysplastic syndrome, acute myeloid leukemia, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, multiple myeloma, and acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

As always, we hope you find this issue educational and informative. Thank you for reading, and feel free to share these articles with your colleagues on social media using the hashtag #OncNurseConnect.

Mike Hennessy, Sr
Chairman and CEO
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