In this issue of The Oncology Nurse-APN/PA (TON), we discuss some of the “personal” situations we may confront as healthcare professionals. Carolyn Comeau talks about how she struggled with trying to be the “perfect patient” and then the “perfect survivor” as she dealt with breast cancer treatment and her life in its aftermath. If some of our patients feel this pressure, how can we identify this and help them process these emotions? Sue Bond addresses how to be honest, without be a “Debbie Downer,” when treating patients who have incurable metastatic cancer. She states, “Good relationships, especially therapeutic relationships, have to be built on trust and honesty.” This month’s Reader Poll asks if this is a situation you have confronted. Please tell us what you say to patients and how you respond to their concerns.
We also present information about the role of music therapy. At the recent Academy of Oncology Nurse & Patient Navigators annual conference, Deforia Lane, PhD, MT-BC, noted “the ubiquity of music” in our lives and presented specific examples about the positive impact of music therapy for patients.
When it comes to attending conferences, many of us have become stressed as we juggle travel schedules and getting to all the sessions we want to attend. In her Through the Eyes of an Advocate column, Peg Ford wonders “what [can] be done to ease the toll that attending conferences must take on healthcare providers and researchers, who are already strained with the demands of their important work.” She discusses a recent conference for cancer patient advocates, sponsored by BAG IT, that directly confronted some of the typical stresses and strains felt by many conference attendees. Interestingly enough, the program announcement for the upcoming 2014 ASCO conference describes a “meeting-within-a-meeting” structure, “designed to create a more intimate, symposium-like feel for certain tracks” to increase “both convenience and navigability” for attendees.
Please visit our website, www.TheOncologyNurse.com, and tell us what topics you want to see covered in TON. We love to hear from you and we appreciate your feedback.