Cancer is a horrifying enemy to human health and requires a complex approach to care and treatment. Nurses play a crucial role in complex cancer care. Through their empathy, dedication, submission, and expertise they can improve the physical, emotional, and psychological well-being of the patients.
In this blog post, we will explore the aspect of the nursing approach to cancer care and their contribution to the general well-being of their patients.
Oncology nursing in cancer care
Oncology nursing in cancer care is a specialized field that covers a large scope of duties in the care of a patient with cancer. They play a major role throughout the stages of cancer care. They have the following responsibilities:
They are responsible for carrying out assessments on the patients such as symptom monitoring, physical examinations, and psychological evaluations.
The oncology nurses are responsible for cancer treatment chemotherapy radiation therapy and continuous monitoring of the patients to check for progress or complications.
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- Educating patients
They have a role in educating patients and their families concerning disease, treatment options, possible side effects, and techniques to control the symptoms.
- Symptom control
They know the management of symptoms related to cancer and its treatment.
- Emotional support and counseling
They offer emotional support and counseling to the patients and their families. They also help them to overcome the challenges that come with cancer diagnosis and treatment.
The oncology nurses coordinate with other health care teams for example physicians, social workers, and other professionals to provide effective and quality care to the patients.
- Survivorship care
They are responsible for providing survivorship care through follow-up assessment monitoring for recurrence and giving a light mint on healthy lifestyle options and possible effects of cancer treatment.
- End-of-life care
Oncology nurses play a vital role in giving compassionate end-of-life care aiming at managing pain, offering emotional support, and maintaining the patient’s comfort and dignity in their final stages of cancer.
Symptom management in nursing cancer care
Symptom management is very crucial when it comes to improving the quality of life for patients experiencing cancer treatment. Nurses do their best to ensure they provide effective symptom management strategies to their patients. Here are some strategies that nurses employ during symptom management:
Nurses are responsible for assessing and controlling the pain that cancer patients experience by using different interventions including the provision of pain medications, offering comfort actions, and encouraging relaxation techniques.
Nurses come up with strategies that help patients manage fatigue for example encouraging adequate rest, energy conservation, and physical activities.
- Nausea and vomiting management
Continuous assessment and monitoring are roles carried out by nurses to help in the management of nausea and vomiting symptoms. They come up with strategies to help reduce the side effects through dietary modifications, antiemetic medications, and relaxation techniques.
Nurses work together with nutritionists to come up with dietary plans for tailoring the specific needs of cancer patients. They come up with guidelines to help in maintaining a balanced diet in cancer patients during treatment.
Nurses provide emotional support to patients and create an empathetic environment that promotes open communication, encouraging understanding and trust.
- Constipation and diarrhea control
Nurses examine patients for gastrointestinal symptoms and apply the necessary interventions to control bowel movements and ensure gastrointestinal comfort.
Nurses play the role of providing effective education to patients with respiratory issues and create techniques to help manage the symptoms including breathing exercises, oxygen therapy, and monitoring respiratory function.
Nurses provide education about possible skin issues due to cancer treatment and give guidance on suitable skin care, wound management, and the use of protective measures to maintain skin health.
Understanding Patient’s perspectives in cancer care
Understanding the patient’s perspective is very important as it helps in fostering trust, confidence, a sense of collaboration, and building a strong therapeutic relationship. It involves the following:
- Active listening
Listening actively to the needs, fears, concerns, and emotional struggles of the patients is very important in promoting their well-being.
Nurses should show empathy to understand the challenges, fears, and doubts that the patients might be facing concerning cancer diagnosis.
Encouraging open and transparent interactions is essential in educating patients on matters concerning their diagnosis, treatment options, and the possible effects of cancer on their personal lives.
Nurses should include patients in decision-making procedures and respect their choices and values. This shows respect for their autonomy which fosters a sense of trust.
- Emotional support
Giving emotional support and comfort will encourage patients to talk about their emotions and fears without feeling secluded or judged.
- Cultural sensitivity
Be sensitive and respectful to the cultural differences and beliefs of patients and provide care systems that support the cultural background and personal values of the patients.
Encouraging patients to participate in their Kenya through asking questions, seeking information, and talking about their concerns is important as it will enable them to make knowledgeable decisions when it comes to their treatment and overall well-being.
Empowering patients through education in cancer care
This is an important feature of healthcare that helps patients to make knowledgeable decisions about their health.
Here is what empowering patients through education in cancer care involves:
Giving extensive information on the particular stages of cancer, causes, risk factors, symptoms, and prognosis is important as it helps patients to have a clear understanding of their current health condition.
Elaborating the different treatment alternatives available together with their possible benefits, risks, and side effects will enable the patient to engage in decision-making procedures in coordination with their healthcare providers.
- Self-management abilities
Providing education to patients concerning self-management abilities such as adhering to medication, monitoring their symptoms, and modifying their lifestyle will help them to engage in their treatment procedures and improve their outcomes.
Initiating patients to support resources is essential as it will enable them to acquire the extra guidance and support they require in their cancer journey. The support resources may include patient advocacy groups, counseling services, and educational materials.
- Survivorship and potential outcomes
Explaining the possible outcomes and survivorship procedures for controlling possible long-term impacts will help patients to be ready for life after cancer treatment.
Providing health promotion will enable patients to increase their control over and improve their health leading to resilience during and after cancer treatment.
Supporting families and caregivers in cancer care
Supporting families and caregivers in cancer care is important. Families and caregivers play a pivotal role in the overall well-being and recovery of the patient. It also leads to better outcomes for the patients and irradiation of the physical, emotional, and practical difficulties that the caregivers encounter in the process of cancer care.
The following are some essential strategies for providing support to families and caregivers in cancer care:
- Providing overall education and information including patients’ condition, possible side effects, and treatment alternatives helps caregivers to have a better understanding of what to anticipate and how to provide effective interventions and support.
- Emotional support. Emotional support is also essential when it comes to managing the impact of caregiving and controlling the challenges they face during treatment.
- Provide practical help to reduce some burdens related to caregiving for example household chores transportation and meal preparation. This will enable the caregivers to put their focus on supporting their members or loved ones.
- Encourage effective interactions among healthcare providers, caregivers, and patients. This will ensure that everyone is involved in the care plan and updated with the correct information.
- Provide grief support services and counseling to the families and caregivers to help them cope with the grieving process after the loss of their loved one to cancer.
- Offer directions on obtaining the financial and legal aspects of caregiving such as legal documentation, financial assistance programs, and insurance coverage.
Promoting holistic wellbeing in cancer care
Holistic well-being in cancer care is an important aspect in addressing the first features of a patient’s health and well-being. The following are Some essential strategies for promoting holistic well-being in cancer care:
- Promoting physical well-being
Promoting physical well-being and guidance and controlling welcomes related to cancer treatment such as fatigue, pain, and nausea through exercises proper nutrition, and enough rest help patients conserve their physical strength and energy.
- Offering emotional support
This will help patients control the psychological effects of cancer.
Promote mental well-being through relaxation techniques, mindfulness practices, and cognitive behavioral therapy. This will promote a positive view despite the challenges brought by cancer.
Offer complete end-of-life Care that supports the comfort, health, and emotional well-being of the patient. Comfort and support should be provided to both the patients and their family members meeting all their physical and psychological needs in the challenging period.
- Offer support for caregivers
Provide the required resources, temporary care, and psychological support to guide the caregiver in challenges management procedures related to patients with cancer.
To wind up
Nurses are the support system in cancer care. Their dedication, compassion, and empathy are responsible for relieving physical symptoms and providing emotional support and guidance to the patient caregivers and their families. By understanding patient perspectives, offering support, symptom management, and education to the patients and caregivers, nurses are uncelebrated champions in the fight against cancer.