Nursing in Philadelphia
Oncology nursing is a specialized type of care provided by nurses with knowledge and skills demonstrated by a cancer specialty certification and continuing education in oncology. This specialty is a calling, and it requires compassion and dedication.
Each day, our Outpatient Oncology nurses at the Einstein Cancer Center assess patients’ laboratory results and overall health to ensure they are ready for treatment. We tend to the needs of our patients and their families, caring for each patient as a whole person. Our nurses give a lot of themselves to heal patients – administering the treatments, offering emotional support, addressing loved ones’ concerns, and educating the patients and their support people about the treatment regimen, what to expect as far as frequency and side effects, and how to promote healing at home.
Because of the frequency in which we see our patients, they tend to become part of our family. Our Outpatient Oncology nurses get to know them on a personal level and do all they can to stay with the same patients to ensure continuity of care. While patients have some level of privacy, an open layout promotes camaraderie among patients and allows all oncology nurses to respond to the needs of any patient who needs help.
We lead the pack of an interdisciplinary team managing each patient’s care, and our charge nurses regularly check in with patients’ doctors about lab results and troubleshoot any issues that may arise. We do all we can to ensure our patients can continue to receive the care they need in a comfortable, outpatient setting, so that they don’t have to return to inpatient treatment.
Within Oncology, including Outpatient Oncology, treatments are rapidly advancing, so continuing education is critical. Our nurses present and participate at the annual Oncology Fair, offering opportunities to learn about a wide variety of timely oncology topics. We must maintain Oncology Nursing Credentials (Standard 4.2) through continuing education. An oncology certification is strongly preferred for Outpatient Oncology Nursing candidates, but if an applicant does not have the certification, they must complete 36 cancer-related oncology CME hours each accreditation cycle.
Nurses at our Infusion Center at Willowcrest also work as a highly coordinated team, providing compassionate, continuous care of the highest quality for repeat patients receiving non-oncological infusion therapy at our Infusion Center at Willowcrest. Because certification is required to administer chemotherapy, some of our nurses begin their careers at the Infusion Center, earn their oncology certification and then begin at the Cancer Center under the guidance of an experienced preceptor.