Handling Cancer Patients

HandlingCancer Patients

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Thesisstatement:Facilitating the care and treatment efficiency of clinical nursesspecialist when handling cancer patients serves as strategies for asupport in nursing practices

Thispaper briefs on an insight into the professional challenges thatclinical nurse specialists (CNS) may face when providing medical careto cancer patients. The role of clinical nurse specialist is manyand more of vary. However, there are the core clinical practisefunctions that could be expected of all the CNS while providingcancer care. CNS in cancer care is registered nurse professions withgraduate level nursing models and who are expected to have a Master’slevel preferably.

TheCNS’s are required to manage and treat the health concerns ofcancer patients in working on the wellbeing of patients suchpatients. According to researchers and more of this paper, the issueof CNS facing difficulties in caring and treating cancer patientstends to be a mystery. There is a lack of explicit support fromclinical bodies, inadequate nursing experience when treating suchpatients and few professionals who are ready to cope with the highrate of increase in cancer patients. The aim of this proposal is tomore of elaborate on the pertinent of this issue. In addition, itproposes two reliable options that can be implemented into practiseso as to improve the efficiency of CNS handling cancer patientsprofessionally.


OptionA Sending all nurses for medication training like a refresher

OptionB Weekly team meeting to reflect on practice


Researchexploring the cancer patients care and treatment by CNSs suggest thatthe patients face inadequate clinical services. They view it as ifthey are not worthy (Temel, &amp Lynch 2010, p.733). Similarly, onhealthy life perspective when a person visits cancer care centreswith CNSs they tend to realise a shortage in workforce and more ofinexperienced clinicians. In a recent study, basing on a CNS from fewhospitals who participated in the grounded theory study reveals thatcancer patients and their families receive unsatisfactory treatmentand care services. Similarly, the interventions being put in placeseem to be invasive and aggressive (Denis, Rauws, Veltman, &ampSmeele, 2013, p.254).


TheCNSs work in trying to improve the experience and quality of care ofpatients, demonstrate leadership, and reinforce patient safety andincrease productivity and efficiency in the field. However, despitetheir interventions they still face challenges that make them not todeliver their best when handling cancer cases. Each year more than270000 people tend to be diagnosed with cancer in the United Kingdom.Currently, more than 2 million people live with cancer. Similarly, itseems that it might double come 2030 since the incidences seem toincrease due to the ageing and growing perspectives whilst improvingtreatment (Temel, et al. 2010, p.733).

Studiesreveal that the current models of care seem to be not identifying oraddressing the needs of all patients living with cancer. Similarly,the study posits that cancer workforce needs to be adapted so as toenhance the care and support of the cancer patients. In case onevisits a cancer care centre there is a clear picture of complexityand disjoint in treating cancer patients with clinical nurses. TheCNSs are mandated to provide technical, emotional support,coordination and provision of information. The emotional support iswhat should be more of accessible to all patients and ensuring thepresence of the psychological wellbeing’s. Often CNSs and otherhealth professionals sometimes they never take the psychologicalaspect of cancer as a high priority.

TheCNSs have roles that relate to the supportive care and provision ofinformation elements of when handling cancer patients. For instance,they are expected to provide initial support and diagnosis, providesupport with the treatment decision making, to advice on themanagement of side effects and symptoms, emotional and basicpsychological support. Additionally they are to diagnostic follow upsin cancer care clinical and ensuring the wellbeing of the patient.Despite this, it is evident on the previous research that only halfof the nurses practise most of their roles. A recent study, revealthat 75% of cancer survivors in 2009 never knew who to contact forreliable information when outside office hours. Similarly, there were43% who liked to access information and advice (Siegel et al. 2012,p.239).

Accordingto a survey, there is only one prostate cancer nurse in the Englandfor every 151 people that are diagnosed with prostate cancer ascompared to the 120 people per lung cancer nurse. These factors tendto lead to inequalities towards patient`s experience. In 2007, astudy was carried on breast cancer care by nurse. It was found thatalmost 60% of the nurses face difficulties in providing quality careto cancer patients (Perry and Michael 2014, p.65). The reasons behindwere staff shortages, additional responsibilities, and more of adeployment to another relevant area that is general wards. Similarly,there are many inconsistent job titles categorised as CNS. There hasbeen an increase in the ambiguity of not specifying CNSs duties andfunctions. They always suffer alteration from job consistency as theyare sometimes given tasks that do not relate with their real roles.

Severalefforts are being made to try and curb such uncertainties so as toimprove the care and treatment service to cancer patients. TheMacmillan organization decided to fund almost 3640 nurses that wereable to support more than 433400 patients. The Macmillan nurses hadan insight of providing more care to family members, friends andcancer patients. According to studies it was found that the nursesoffered help and care for almost 137 cancer patients in the entireperiod of 2011 (Borgfeld 2014, p.6). The foundation mostly works onpumping prime funding to their nurses thus giving them motivation ofdelivering their best. The Macmillan nurses are registered nurses.Similarly, they have first-degree level and postgraduate educationlevel or working on attaining the post graduate qualifications (Weekset al. 2012, p.54).

MacmillanCNS provide innovation, leadership and expertise more of directlywhen patients tend to have high complex care demands that requirecare planning and specialist assessment. They also indirectly guideand help others to always provide support and care to cancerpatients. The Macmillan tends to support the introduction of CNSfield for people with the cancer. Its aim is to develop a supportiveservice for the patients and their families (Lavoie-Tremblay, Paquet,Marchionni, &amp Drevniok 2011, p.127).

Perryand Michael (2014, p.65), posits that CNSs need motivation andefficient support so as always to deliver best care and treatmentservices to cancer patients. Scholars argue that the lack ofmotivation, shortage in nursing staff and lack of support seem to bethe main reason for inefficiency in treating and caring for cancerpatients.

Accordingto Ridner, Dietrich &amp Kidd (2011, p.634) many CNSs have pooreducations levels are inexperienced, and thus they face challengeswhen dealing with cancer patients. The scholar prefers that cancerCNSs at times they should undergo refresher courses to expand ontheir knowledge. Similarly, it is advisable to recruit newprofessional and experienced staff preferably postgraduate nurses inthe current healthcare sectors.


OptionA:Sending all nurses for medication training like a refresher

Aim– To help CNSs cope with the technical and emotional demands ofproviding effective care to cancer patients

CNSsneed to undergo a refresher course always to keep up to date on theirrelevant nursing knowledge. King and Hinds (2011, p.4) posits that arefresher course tends to bring the nurses back to speed with anupdated interventions, appropriate procedures and treatments. Inspite of only equipping the nurse with appropriate skills, it alsooffers them a chance to gain higher education levels and a chance forpromotions (Absolom et al. 2011, p.254). Refresher course, therefore,facilitates the provision of better chances to care and treatconcerned patients.

Accordingto Mayer (2012, p.299), nurse refresher course prepares one to dealwith all aspects of patient`s needs. Nurses are expected to know onhow to handle different situations correctly and in more of aprofessional manner. A refresher course aims at ensuring that nursesgain those skills they lack. Gaining of these skills makes it easierto provide better and satisfactory care and treatment service topatients such as in this case the cancer patients (Kvåle &ampBondevik 2010, p.440).

Undergoinga nurse refresher course has various benefits. Nurses tend to achieverenewable comfort level towards their clinical environment,facilitates the refreshing of the current skills and learning of newones (Foley 2011, p.251). CNSs, which undergo a refresher course,will learn reliable skills that will aim at ensuring that the cancerpatients are advised, treated and cared for appropriately. Similarly,the knowledge they gain will ensure they offer emotional andtechnical care to the patients with much ease (Fay &amp Ropka 2004,p.663).

Introductionof a refresher course at times may face various challenges. Thenurses who seem to be never ageing prefer having further courses(Laschinger, Finegan, &amp Wilk 2011, p.125). They feel they havevery little time to continue serving before their service. Similarly,most of them have many issues they handle, and even theirconcentration in studying tends to be something of the past and onlymeant for the youngsters. Foley (2011,p. 251) argues that accordingto a recent survey, more of aging nurses never prefer undergoingrefresher courses and acts as a punishment to them.

Theshortage in nursing staff is another challenge that may alter theadoption of refresher courses. Most hospitals in England have littlenurse to patient’s ratio. This makes it not advisable to releasethe available nurse to undergo any course (McQuestion, Fitch, &ampHowell 2011, p.145). However, despite this all, the refresher courseremains a possible solution for ensuring that the cancer patients arehandled with experienced and fully equipped nurses.

OptionsB Weeklyteam meeting to reflect on practice


Tohelp nurses to reflect on the caring practices that is relevant tocaring of Cancer patients.

Tofacilitate patients and experts relation in discussing the mattersaffecting each side

Toensure that cases reported are elaborated on by panel of experts.

Murray&amp Hobbs (1999, p.482) acknowledges that this initiative will seekto improve on the technical and emotional perspectives of both thenurses and cancer patients. Increase in technical knowhow of thenurses when handling oncology cases. The aspects will enhance theprovision of better service when handling cancer cases. Theinitiative makes it possible for the cancer patients to getsatisfactory care, advice and treatment (Northouse, Williams, Given,&amp McCorkle 2012, p.1233). Similarly, the nurses with lessknowledge on cancer treatment may in the long run learn from theweekly review meetings, whereby they will learn from each other(Malone 2006, p.1375).

Theadvantages of having weekly review are more diverse. The meetingshelp nurse to raise their weekly encounters with the patients theyhandled. Similarly, they gain adverse knowledge as they learn fromothers. For instance, a mistake done by one can be a source of changeto others. Sufficient knowledge in handling diverse cancer-carepractices facilitates on the support and care provided to patientsthus increasing their emotions feedback (Polit &amp Beck 2013,p.2063).

Themeetings will make it possible for cancer patients to ensure theirneeds are discussed by the panel of experts. The discussion in themeetings will make sure that all case pertaining to care andtreatment of cancer patients are reviewed by the group. The groupwill entail specialist knowledge on particular case of cancer. Thepanel of experts in the meeting will include pathologists, clinicalnurse specialist, clinicians, radiologists and oncologists. The panelwill also have a coordinator who will organize the meeting and recordoutcomes. Similarly, the panel may include palliative care, languagetherapists, allied health professionals and the occupationaltherapists. In addition social workers and other relevantprofessionals may be of need. The panel will always meet regularly inaddressing and discussing relevant issues. For instance, it willreview diagnostic information and more of formulate a propertreatment plan to account for patients individual needs, results ofvarious tests and other relevant information. The panel will alsoensure that they discuss on the patients next appointment and more oftreatment agreed upon the patients.

Themeeting is also used as a great opportunity for monitoring ofpatients progress. Similarly it acts as a pathway for ensuring thatcare is delivered appropriately and timely. The cares are supposed tobe as per the governments waiting time targets. During the meetingspatients will have rights of accessing their copy of casediscussions.


CNSsplay the primary role in the provision of reliable technical andemotional care to cancer patients in England. The health sectorshould work on ensuring that everything is put in a position toaddress the challenges facing the CNSs in provision of care andtreatment to the cancer patients. Relevant bodies should ensure thatthe CNSs staff wellbeing are protected and promoted. These willensure that the staffs alongside the patients reap benefits as theirinteractions will have gained weight. The implementation of therefresher course and increasing the staff will enhance the way CNSsoffer care and treatment to the cancer patients. Similarly, thenurses will work and deliver better job with much ease.


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