The words oncology nurses use when talking to patients and their loved ones can have a major impact on the quality of care. Using proper terminology for substance misuse disorders and being compassionate to parents whose child is facing a cancer diagnosis, for example, can set the tone for the patient-provider relationship.
In this issue’s cover story, we explore the tragic opioid crisis that is sweeping the nation and oncology nurses’ role in tackling the issue. “Nurses should have mindful social interactions with parents who have heard the dreaded words, Your child has cancer.”
Oncology Nursing News® interviewed experts in the field about the stigma around opioid use, risk mitigation, and patient education strategies, as well as when it is—or isn’t—appropriate to use opioids. The article outlines key strategies for safe drug administration, which has great potential to affect patients whom nurses see day in and day out.
Although nurses should be cognizant of how they discuss opioid use with their patients, they should also have mindful social interactions with parents who have heard the dreaded words, Your child has cancer. In our feature story, we discuss the importance of compassionate care, not only with the child with a diagnosis but also with the family members and caregivers.
Nurses must be sympathetic to parents who are facing this difficult time and ensure they understand the ins and outs of their child’s diagnosis, as well as any care or consideration they should provide at home. This often requires patience, as many loved ones can have trouble digesting information after hearing the word cancer.
Also, in this issue, you’ll hear one oncology nurse discuss the reality of having cancer and how she finds motivation and inspiration from the amazing people she treats every day. And for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we’re offering a continuing education (CE) section specific to the disease. Be sure to take the online quiz and earn 1 hour of CE credit. I hope you find this issue both enjoyable and informative. As always, thanks for reading!