Families and Caregivers Can Help Protect Patients with Leukemia from COVID-19

Stephanie Jackson, DNP, MSN, RN, AOCNS, BMTCN, Oncology Nursing News co-editor in chief, comments on the dedication she has observed from caregivers taking care of loved ones with leukemia during the COVID-19 era.

Caregivers or patients with leukemia played a crucial role during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Stephanie Jackson DNP, MSN, RN, AOCNS, BMTCN.

“One thing I can truly say is that the families of these individuals are the most precious angels that you can truly ask for,” said Jackson, unit director, hematology/stem cell transplantation, UCLA. “Because they do know that ‘my loved one has no immune system,’ so they do everything possible to keep them safe, because that’s what they’re used to, whether they’ve gone through their first round of therapy and now they’re coming back for their second, third cycles, they know the routine, that no we can’t see the grandbaby, no we can’t be having parties and have everyone come over.”

Jackson recently presented on leukemia essentials for the oncology nurse at the 5th Annual School of Nursing Oncology. In an interview, Jackson, who is also co-editor in chief of Oncology Nursing News, discussed the increased COVID-19 risk that individuals with leukemia face, but how, in her experience, the heightened attention and care that caregivers and providers brought has helped protect her patients from the viral infection.

“I will say that we are definitely the incubator right now, in LA county, for COVID-19. Things [here] are back to normal, and there are regions of California that are wide open. They never bought into this COVID and really protected themselves, but I think that our patients and families they get it, and I can say over these last 17 months, I’ve only had 1 patient that we admitted the patient for a transplant [that] ended up getting COVID.”