Oncology Nurses Are an Essential Component of Cancer Moonshot Initiative
Monday, February 1, 2016
ONS encourages Vice President Joe Biden to continue his reach into the oncology field by pulling from resources within the nursing community, remembering that oncology nurses stand in the forefront of this initiative.
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February 1, 2016 — Today Vice President Joe Biden will convene the Cancer Moonshot Task Force to organize and coordinate a collective march toward finding a cure for cancer. Surrounded by panels of researchers, scientists, and physicians, the vice president has positioned himself among many leading cancer researchers in the country in an effort to make America the country that cures cancer once and for all.
“We encourage the vice president to continue his reach into the oncology field by pulling from resources within the nursing community, remembering that we stand in the forefront of this initiative,” said Margaret Barton-Burke, PhD, RN, FAAN, ONS president. “Oncology nurses from New York to L.A., Key West to Seattle are the women and men who will administer treatments, care for patients, and provide comfort to their families. The role of the nurse in this moonshot cannot be understated.”
Clinical research nurses are involved at the very deepest levels of patient care in clinical trials. Nurses are responsible for obtaining patients’ informed consent, strictly adhering to the integrity of clinical trial protocols, and ensuring the accuracy of data collected. Without them, data could become skewed, treatments may not be properly administered, and information may be recorded incorrectly. Oncology nurses spend countless hours with their patients, understanding their fears and alleviating concerns and misconceptions by answering complex medical questions. They inform patients in plain English what their treatment plans or clinical trials have in store for them.
As we surge toward a cure, the nation must remember that cancer is a disease that affects people. Nurses have been, and will continue to be, one of the primary lifelines many patients cling to as they undergo treatment. Whether those nurses provide emotional support in a time of crisis, a simple answer during a time of confusion, or a word of encouragement during a time of doubt, they will always focus on the patient.
“Oncology nursing’s role is vital to this moonshot. Through nurses’ focused efforts and treatment of patients, their support of research initiatives, and their help in clinical studies and trial administration, we stand to gain ground on a cure like never before,” Barton-Burke said. “Together, as a united front, the oncology community of researchers, physicians, and nurses alike, stands to deliver a quantum leap forward on the path to a cure.”
ONS is a professional association of more than 39,000 members committed to promoting excellence in oncology nursing and the transformation of cancer care. Since 1975, ONS has provided a professional community for oncology nurses, developed evidence-based education programs and treatment information, and advocated for patient care, all in an effort to improve quality of life and outcomes for patients with cancer and their families. Learn more at www.ons.org.