Education of the Nurse Who Administers and Cares for the Individual Receiving Chemotherapy and Biotherapy
- RNs are the professional nurses responsible for all aspects of administering and monitoring chemotherapy and biotherapy agents. State practice acts should be consulted when developing institutional policies and procedures.
All introductory and annual competency reassessment programs developed for nurses administering chemotherapy and biotherapy include current and evidence-based content regarding chemotherapy, biotherapy, immunotherapy, and biosimilars for these agents, including:
- Types, classifications, and routes of administration
- Pharmacology of agents, regardless of indications for use
- Pertinent molecular biomarkers
- Chemotherapy and radiotherapy protectants
- Principles of safe preparation, storage, labeling, transportation, and disposal of agents
- Administration procedures, including administration schedule, dose, and route; patient consent; and appropriate documentation in the medical record
- Specific to biosimilar products: (a) the presence of similarities and differences to the reference product; (b) an evaluation of analytical, clinical, and non-clinical data conducted in a patient population, if available, similar to that of the intended recipient; (c) an evaluation of additional clinical data, if any, reported as a requirement to obtain approval; (d) the appropriateness of use for the patient’s condition
- Appropriate use and disposal of personal protective equipment
- Process to ensure patient safety
- Assessment, monitoring, and management of patients receiving therapy in all care settings
- Patient and family education for these agents, specific to side effects and related symptom management, and process for urgent follow-up
- Assessment of, education on, and management of post-treatment care, including urgent follow-up care procedures, late or long-term side effects, and physical and psychosocial aspects of survivorship
- Chemotherapy and Biotherapy: Fundamentals of Administration provides the essential information to best prepare all nurses to safely administer chemotherapy and biotherapy.
- The ONS/Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation Chemotherapy Biotherapy Certificate Course builds on the fundamentals course to increase the expertise of nurses by providing greater detail on safe handling and administration and recommendations for care for those receiving chemotherapy and biotherapy.
American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer. (2012). Cancer program standards 2012: Ensuring patient-centered care [v.1.2.1]. Retrieved from https://www.facs.org/~/media/files/quality%20programs/cancer/coc/programstandards2012.ashx
Christi, L., & Deisseroth, A. (2015). Development and approval of biosimilar products. ASCO Post. Retrieved from http://www.ascopost.com/issues/march-25,-2015/development-and-approval-of-biosimilar-products.aspx
Code of Federal Regulations. (2012). 42 U.S. §262. Regulation of biological products. Title 42—Public health. Retrieved from https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/42
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Neuss, M.N., Polovich, M., McNiff, K., Esper, P., Gilmore, T.R., LeFebvre, K.B., Schulmeister, L., & Jacobson, J.O. (2013). 2013 Updated American Society of Clinical Oncology/ Oncology Nursing Society Chemotherapy Administration Safety Standards for the safe administration and management of oral chemotherapy. Oncology Nursing Forum, 40, 225–233.
Polovich, M., Olsen, M., & LeFebvre, K. (Eds.). (2014). Chemotherapy and biotherapy guidelines and recommendations for practice (4th ed.). Pittsburgh, PA: Oncology Nursing Society.
Wilkes, G. (2011). Targeted cancer therapy: A handbook for nurses. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett.