Nurses, other clinicians, and outside organizations must work together to ensure that all patients' needs and concerns are being addressed.
Oncology nurses should use a multidisciplinary approach to ensure the best care for their patients, according to Sally Werner, MSHA, BSN, RN, senior vice president, affiliate relations at Cancer Support Community.
Clinicians can work together to address physical symptoms of cancer and its treatments, as well as refer patients to psychosocial services and other organizations, such as the Cancer Support Community, to make certain that all patients' concerns are being addressed.
As an oncology nurse, I always knew that multidisciplinary, whole-patient care was important because once they walked out our doors, their cancer journey didn't stop. They were still dealing with the social/emotional issues and the symptom side effects of their cancer. So I think if we can wrap our arms around them in more than one environment and more than one way, they truly feel supported. They can always go back to their physician, their nurse navigators, their clinics for symptoms and side effects, but what if its, "How do I talk to my child about my cancer?" I think that's where we [Cancer Support Community] can really step in and really help with those other components of care.