Episode 272: Oncologic Emergencies 101: Radiation Therapy for Emergent and Urgent Interventions

“Like all emergencies, they’re unpredictable. I have seen them at the very beginning and sometimes, unfortunately, that can be the patient’s first sign or symptom that they have cancer. It can be something like they’ve lost the ability to walk, or their breathing gets difficult. I’ve also seen it during the middle of their care continuum where we finish a round of radiation and they develop metastatic disease so the next time you see then for radiation can be for a cord compression. I’ve also seen it toward the end of their care continuum where this is strictly a quality-of-life measure,” ONS member John Hollman, BSN, RN, OCN®, senior nurse manager of radiation oncology at AdventHealth Cancer Institute in Orlando, FL, told Jaime Weimer, MSN, RN, AGCNS-BS, AOCNS®, manager of oncology nursing practice at ONS, during a discussion about radiation therapy for emergent and urgent interventions. You can earn free NCPD contact hours after listening to this episode and completing the evaluation linked below.

Music Credit: “Fireflies and Stardust” by Kevin MacLeod

Licensed under Creative Commons by Attribution 3.0

Earn 0.75 contact hours of nursing continuing professional development (NCPD), which may be applied to the Oncology Emergencies or Treatment ILNA category, by listening to the full recording and completing an evaluation at myoutcomes.ons.org by August 11, 2025. The planners and faculty for this episode have no relevant financial relationships with ineligible companies to disclose. ONS is accredited as a provider of NCPD by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation.

Learning outcome: The learner will report an increase in knowledge related to radiation therapy when used in the emergent and urgent setting.

Episode Notes

To discuss the information in this episode with other oncology nurses, visit the ONS Communities

To find resources for creating an ONS Podcast Club in your chapter or nursing community, visit the ONS Podcast Library

To provide feedback or otherwise reach ONS about the podcast, email pubONSVoice@ons.org

Highlights From Today’s Episode

It is a larger dose per day typically than you would give for six weeks. So, you want to give a lower dose per day if you’re going to stretch it out for six to eight weeks. Shorter courses like these, for emergencies, are a higher dose per day but a short time frame of treatment.” Timestamp (TS) 14:34

“As a nurse, I kind of like to overeducate, and you can kind of tell which patients are more receptive to knowing everything, and some of them want to know the bare minimum.” TS 16:14

“The thing that’s different with these patients is that sometimes those side effects will hit when they’re no longer in your clinic.” TS 17:19

“I say get to know your medical oncologists and your radiation oncologist. Communication can be open; it doesn’t have to be a silo if you don’t need it to be.” TS 22:14

“The more educated the patient is, it lessens their nerves. I feel like the more educated they are, they know what to expect. They know every step of the process.” TS 32:02

Listen on:

Listen on Amazon Music, Listen on Apple Podcasts, Listen on Spotify, Listen on YouTube Music

ONS Podcasts

On-the-go discussions covering a wide array of clinical and leadership topics that you can earn NCPD for.

View All Podcasts