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Nursing Management of Patients Receiving Stereotactic Radiosurgery

Ethel Law
Elisa Mangarin
Joanne Frankel Kelvin
CJON 2003, 7(4), 387-392 DOI: 10.1188/03.CJON.387-392

Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) is a minimally invasive procedure that delivers high-dose radiation in a single fraction to a precisely targeted lesion in the brain. When SRS is provided using a modified linear accelerator that produces x-ray beams, a stereotactic head ring is used for localization of the target area and immobilization during treatment. Radiation oncology nurses have a unique role in caring for patients receiving SRS. Prior to the procedure, a radiation oncology nurse assesses the patient, educates the patient and family about the procedure, and collaborates in the details of planning. On the day of treatment, the radiation oncology nurse assists with head ring placement, provides care and monitoring throughout the day, and provides discharge instructions. This article describes the SRS procedure, reviews possible side effects, and discusses the radiation oncology nursing role.

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