Consensus Statements: Ambulatory Pediatric Oncology Nursing Practice


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Abstract

The pre-conference workshop at the 32nd Annual Conference of the Association of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Nursing, held in September 2008, focused on issues faced by pediatric oncology nurses in the ambulatory setting. The workshop was developed after several years of intense discussions at several forums. Therefore the need for an extended discussion period with ambulatory pediatric oncology nurses across the country to address these concerns was evident.There has been a major shift over the past ten years from inpatient to outpatient treatment in oncology (Chabot & Fox, 2005). This shift has resulted in numerous unique challenges for the pediatric oncology nurse. Challenges include lack of staffing resources for fluctuating patient volume and acuity, telephone triage volume and management, home care patient issues, scheduling systems, patient flow and wait time, and multi-institutional communication. This article reports the results of the APHON workshop which utilized the evidence from adult ambulatory oncology literature and standards and the recommendations of the expert pediatric oncology nurse participants to develop global statements about pediatric oncology ambulatory practice standards. The energy and productivity of the group was evidence of a common theme and demand for attention to the ambulatory nursing staff and practice. The ability to identify common threads and reach consensus with powerful statements of practice supports the continued use of such forums to move practice forward.

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