Oncology telepractice orientation program

Tamara Homeward-Pascal, Samia Elmi, Lauren Coloso, Stephanie Burlein-Hall


Telepractice in oncology is an evolving practice for nurses and cancer patients. Understanding the needs of our patients led the nursing leaders of a large academic teaching centre to undertake the challenge of creating a measurable and sustainable Telephone Readiness Assessment and Orientation Program. The experiences of patients and families regarding telephone interactions triggered the launch of Live Voice Answer, a centre-wide telepractice change. To support the transition from clinic practice to telepractice with the introduction of Live Voice Answer, an orientation program was created to lay the foundation for nurses to provide excellent standardized telepractice care. 

A Practice Training Process map was designed to depict three stages required to successfully complete the orientation: Telephone Readiness Assessment, Telephone Practice Training session, and Practical Application. The frameworks used to support the Practice Training Process includes COSTaRS, College of Nurses of Ontario Practice Guideline: Telepractice, Cancer Care Ontario: Oncology Nursing Telepractice Standard, Cancer Care Ontario – Symptom Management Guides as well as our organizational policies. Benner’s Novice to Expert Theory is also embedded to guide the skill/competency development. The purpose of this manuscript is to describe the telephone practice orientation program and share lessons learned that have contributed to its current evolution.

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