Background: Understanding basic epidemiology and public health concepts is essential to the provision of safe care during a pandemic. These basic concepts and terms include containment, mitigation, predictive modeling, latent period, incubation period, reproduction number, case fatality rate, and test sensitivity and specificity.
Objectives: Public health concepts and terms are defined, described in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, and specific implications for oncology nursing practice are discussed.
Methods: A review of public health literature and reputable websites with a focus on COVID-19 data. This article defines epidemiologic and public health concepts and uses examples from the pandemic to illustrate oncology nursing implications.
Findings: The COVID-19 pandemic is changing oncology nursing care delivery. Oncology nurses need to understand these concepts to anticipate and advocate for optimal oncology care.