What is Cancer Nursing or Oncology Nursing?

Cancer nursing, or oncology nursing is an area of nursing where you will care for patients with cancer. Oncology nursing includes care of the illness itself, the symptoms of the illness, the side effects of the treatment, and the pyschosocial care of the patient and their family.

cancer nursing

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Oncology nursing is an area that requires a special type of nurse. It takes a very special type of nurse and person to work with cancer patients.

Oncology nursing requires a very caring and compassionate person.

As an oncology nurse you can work as an inpatient nurse in a hospital, or in an outpatient setting such as a clinic or an infusion center. You may also work as a home health nurse or a hospice nurse.

Inpatient oncology nurses work in the hematology-oncology unit caring for cancer patients and administering chemotherapy during treatment phases. Cancer patients may also have frequent admissions for infections or other illnesses requiring IV antibiotics and specialized treatments. Cancer patients will usually be admitted to the hematology-oncology floor when admitted for any type of illness.


Cancer nursing: Where will you work

Oncology nurses require special training to be able to administer chemotherpay agents to their patients. A nursing certification is available for oncology nurses.

Outpatient oncology nurses can work in a clinic or an infusion center. The same caring and compassionate nature is needed in these settings as well as the same special education.

Home health oncology nurses may make home care visits to patients for various reasons such as maintaining a central line.  Hospice care nurses care for cancer patients in their final days. 

No matter what setting you work in for cancer nursing it is important to remember that you will be caring for the patient with cancer and the family. Cancer patients can be infants, children, or adults, but it will always be an emotional time for the family, no matter the age of the patient.

Oncology Nurses are Super Heroes T-shirt

May 2017 - Celebrate Oncology Nurses Month

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