Get Patients to Open Up About MPN Symptoms


An oncology nurse said he wants patients to tell them about all their symptoms, so that they can get to the root of what is important and plan treatment accordingly.

Myeloproliferative neoplasm (MPN) symptoms can often seem to be other conditions, so it is essential that nurses develop a good rapport with their patients to ensure that they always communicate any changes in how they feel, explained Patrick Buxton, RN, BSN.

“A big part of my nurse style is to find out what their baseline is, and to make sure that they communicate, even if it’s a very subtle change,” Buxton, who is a clinical nurse coordinator with the hematology department at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, said.

To establish that kind of patient-provider communication, Buxton said that he is very persistent, and ensures that his patients know that they can call him any time and he will always call them back. He lets patients know that symptom management, unfortunately, is not an exact science, since every patient is different, but he makes sure that they feel they are going through the process together.

Then, once it is apparent that there are MPN-related side effects that need to be addressed, Buxton said that certain individuals may have their medications titrated, while others have their dose lowered.

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