Here at BioPlus Specialty Pharmacy it’s hard to overstate how much we value nurses, but now during National Nurses Week and Oncology Nursing Month feels like the perfect time to share our deeply felt appreciation. Of course, in the midst of the Covid-19 crisis, the stakes are even higher for nurses on the frontlines and our gratitude continues to climb even higher.
Just as this time of Covid-19 is particularly tough for the nursing profession, this is also a particularly tough time for certain patients, namely oncology patients. Oncology nurses spend time with patients throughout the entire process: from explaining a new diagnosis, guiding patients through what to expect with treatment, and sharing in victories or providing compassion during dark times. Currently, some of this process may be conducted remotely with telemedicine and there are new layers of anxiety and concern from patients for nurses to navigate.
The field of oncology has certainly changed over the years, with one of the biggest evolutions being the rise of targeted/personalized treatments. In addition, oncology medications have generally moved out of the hospital setting – with many treatments now given orally, infused, or injected. Increasingly, patients are able to treat at home; which is a blessing given the ongoing social distancing needs of cancer patients. However, this does not mean that care touch points are no longer needed.
In some ways, the role of the oncology nurse has become even more crucial in training and supporting patients during treatment, particularly for oncology medications that come with distinct and difficult to manage toxicities, requiring careful management by a care team. A leading cause of non-adherence with oral cancer medications is adverse effects. Access to oncology nurses and other support team members with special training in this area helps patients work through this challenge and be more likely to stay on therapy, which in turn is a huge factor in better outcomes.
With the support of an oncology nurse on the care team, patients do better during treatment. So our hat’s off to oncology nurses, as we celebrate their special role!
Remember, you can count on BioPlus in these tough times, and in the better days ahead.