CFN – Cancer is a disease that affects people of all ages, gender, and nationalities. The complex nature of this disease and its treatment requires nurses to have a combination of specialized knowledge, research and clinical skills, and evidence-informed nursing practice. As a result, oncology nurses are ideally situated to meet the unique needs of cancer patients and their families.
In Canada, oncology nurses are on the front lines of cancer treatment, cancer care and cancer research.
Chemotherapy administration is an important aspect of cancer treatment and carries many responsibilities for the oncology nurse, from safe administration, to the management of side effects, to patient and family education.
“For this reason, many cancer patients and their families would prefer to receive treatment from a specialized oncology nurse,” said Dr. Brenda Sabo, President of the Canadian Association of Nurses in Oncology (CANO/ACIO). “Unfortunately, not all treatment centres are able to provide care from nurses with extended training in chemotherapy administration.”
As the number of Canadians requiring cancer treatment and care continues to rise, the need to invest in oncology nurses through the implementation of the newly developed National Strategy for Chemotherapy Administration is underscored. These new standards and competencies for the administration of chemotherapy were released by CANO/ACIO in 2011 to ensure consistent, safe, quality care for all Canadian cancer patients.
Thus, on April 3rd, communities across Canada will celebrate National Oncology Nursing Day, a day to recognize the tremendous role played by oncology nurses in the lives of Canadians. The broad range of support for the work done by oncology nurses will be demonstrated through events and initiatives across the country. In addition to Oncology Nursing Day being proclaimed an “official day” in provinces and cities from coast to coast, there will be public events, meetings with Provincial Premiers and Ministers of Health, and educational initiatives sponsored by local chapters of oncology nurses. One indicator for the mounting recognition being demonstrated for oncology nurses is the recent addition of Boehringer Ingelheim (Canada) Ltd., one of the world’s 20 leading pharmaceutical companies, as the official sponsor of Oncology Nursing Day 2012.
Today also marks the launch of a new website at www.OncologyNursingDay.com. The new site will help share the many untold stories of how oncology nurses profoundly impact the lives of Canadians on a deeply personal and intimate level.
OncologyNursingDay.com will serve as a platform for both nurses and the public to interact via the sharing of stories relating to oncology nursing and cancer care delivery.
For a patient undergoing chemotherapy, one can only imagine the appreciation that exists for the personalized level of treatment, and patient advocacy, provided by oncology nurses. Ultimately, this appreciation serves as the final reminder of why on April 3rd communities across the country will acknowledge oncology nurses, and be reminded of the very valuable role they play, not just in our cancer care system, but in the lives of cancer patients and their treatment teams everywhere.
For further information on CANO/ACIO, and details concerning Oncology Nursing Day 2012, please visit www.cano-acio.ca.
ABOUT CANO / ACIO
Established in 1984, CANO/ACIO is the national organization that supports Canadian nurses to promote and develop excellence in oncology nursing practice, education, research and leadership. CANO/ACIO’s purpose is to promote prevention of cancer, to provide optimal care of individuals living with cancer, and to provide support for the nurses caring for them. CANO/ACIO represents about 1,000 nurses across Canada. Its members are nurses working in administration, universities, and research institutions, as well as acute and critical care inpatient units, outpatient clinics, palliative care and hospice.