Oncology nurses have a critical role in mitigating the intense vulnerability, loss of control, and fear of the unknown that characterizes the experiences of patients with cancer and their family members. Reliably inquiring about the issues that are at the forefront for patients and their loved ones can encourage a deeper dialogue—where nurses can understand and address the issues that are most important to them. A practical quality improvement approach can help to ensure that processes are in place to assist nurses in devoting time to reliably inquire about “what matters” to each patient at every encounter.
At a Glance
- Inquiring about what matters to patients at every encounter is a key element of relationship-based care.
- Using a practical quality improvement framework enables nurses to create, test, and implement reliable processes to assess and address the issues that are most important to patients.
- Developing, testing, reliably implementing, and spreading changes are essential improvement abilities for oncology nurses in all clinical settings.