It cannot be denied that cancer is one of the most life-threatening diseases that affect almost the entire globe today. People of all ages and of different lifestyles are aware that they can never be completely safe against this fatal illness. Because of that, medical experts are in a constant quest for the possible cure to cancer.
Apart from the advancements in medicine and medical technology, the continuously developing skills of health care professionals also contribute to the mission of defeating this critical disease. One who holds the biggest role in this mission is the troop of young and vibrant registered nurses.
The function that RNs play in the battle against cancer defines the field of specialization known as oncology nursing. This began over five decades ago when cancer was still a new and strange concept in medicine and nurses do not know yet the exact part they ought to play. Through the years, as treatment methods and equipment improved, oncology nurses gradually identified the specific responsibilities they need to fulfill to help in curing and preventing cancer.
In the same way, oncology nursing benefits the RNs as their careers can attain a more definite path toward their dream success. They no longer limit their horizons to becoming mere nursing staff in hospitals, but also consider the professional and personal rewards that oncology nursing jobs can offer. In this line of profession, they get to help in alleviating the sufferings of cancer patients, while boosting their occupational morale as well.
How can nurses begin in taking the road of oncology nursing? Basically, aspiring professionals should be ready for the possibility of working as caregivers, educators, consultants, researchers, and counselors. They can be in charge of attending to patients undergoing treatments and therapies, of providing ambulatory assistance in specialized home and clinical care, and of doing other related responsibilities such as performing clinical researches and educating people about the right ways of battling cancer.
In terms of professional qualifications, registered nurses are required to undergo further trainings and attain specified certifications. Beyond the basic nursing program, they should have cancer-specific knowledge base and clinical expertise in oncology care. Depends on geographical location and hospital qualifications, various quality assessments and clinical applications may be demanded from RNs.
For those who want to take oncology nursing to another level, they can have the option of going for a more advanced nursing practice. This requires a minimum of a master’s degree which can assure substantial theoretical knowledge in oncology, plus sufficient ability in providing expert care. They can aim to become an oncology certified nurse (OCN), an advanced oncology certified nurse (AOCN), or a certified pediatric oncology nurse (CPON.)
Furthermore, RNs have several options in terms of the oncology field where they can specialize. They can focus on chemotherapy, biotherapy, breast oncology, radiation, surgical oncology, GYN oncology, bone marrow transplant, cancer genetic counseling, prevention and early detection, symptom management, and many other more. All these can contribute greatly in the mission of alleviating the physical pains and emotional stress of patients, as well as in the future of medical development against cancer.
Apart from the social relevance of the job, becoming an oncology nurse can also help RNs to get the best of their profession. They can easily penetrate the dynamic working environments of hospitals and healthcare servicing companies where they can earn $50,000 – $80,000 or Php 2,000,000 to Php 3,200,000 yearly. (ehow.com)
In the Philippines, aspiring oncology nurses can find assistance through the help of professional consultants and through specialized organizations like the Philippine Oncology Nurses Association (PONA). After just two or three years of training, RNs can already take part in the projected job demand for oncology nurses which can reach over 22% until 2018 (education-portal.com.) That clearly shows that this field of specialization can be a potential cure to the problematic careers of Filipino nurses and can offer them with a brighter future.
Upon acquiring the necessary trainings and certifications, RNs can be more marketable in the medical field. It will be easier for them to find a slot in hospitals, schools, and research institutions where they can answer their real calling as health professionals. The best partner in this type of mission includes employment institutions like Platinum Healthcare Staffing. This is a Joint Commission-Certified organization whose mission is to find the best opportunities for nurses and even allied health professionals who want to maximize their potentials in their chosen field of expertise. Furthermore, in this quest to find the most suitable working fields and employers for healthcare staff, Platinum is in the same way guiding hospitals and healthcare facilities in hiring only the most competent and well-trained medical professionals.
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