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Professional Issues

Administering Chemotherapy in Nononcology Settings: A Case Study

Nancy Smith
CJON 2011, 15(4), 433-435 DOI: 10.1188/11.CJON.433-435

Providing chemotherapy for patients in a variety of settings may be a challenge for oncology nurses. Increased acuity and comorbidities of patients needing chemotherapy have resulted in a greater incidence of administration in nononcology settings, such as intensive care units (ICUs). In addition, patients with conditions other than cancer are receiving chemotherapy. Because of a lack of certified and experienced chemotherapy nurses in the ICU, oncology nurses may be pulled from their unit to administer chemotherapy. Another possibility is that nonchemotherapy-certified nurses may be asked to administer chemotherapy. Caring for patients receiving chemotherapy may be stressful for nononcology nurses because of their lack of knowledge regarding chemotherapy precautions and the management of side effects and toxicities. Not only is coordination and cooperation between nursing personnel vital, certified oncology nurses must be able to assess the situation, provide the necessary information and education, and safely administer the chemotherapy. This article describes a case study and provides suggestions for planning in similar situations.

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