Developing oncology clinical practice through education

Mary Flaherty


The advent of complex and multiple treatments in cancer care and the subsequent impact on the patient and family have increased the need for nurses to be both technically and interpersonally competent. The course in oncology nursing at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Montreal provides practising nurses with an opportunity to develop their knowledge and skills in onoclogy nursing. This eight-week full-time course focuses on the experience of cancer for adult patients and their families. While traditional approaches assign students to specific clinical units, this course has students follow selected patients and families as they move between home and hospital settings.

The development process, content, learning activities and evaluation methods of the course are described. Distinctive features, including self-directed learning experiences, one-to-one work with an advisor, and the family as a unit of care are highlighted. Future directions for oncology nursing education at this institution are suggested.

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