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ONS Hosts Safe Handling Meeting

ONS Hosts Safe Handling Meeting
Thursday, February 26, 2015

The Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) hosted a meeting of Safe Handling of Hazardous Drugs Association Stakeholders where organizational representatives voiced the concerns of their members about safe handling.

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ONS hosted 14 nurses and association professionals at a Safe Handling of Hazardous Drugs Association Stakeholders meeting on February 16, 2015, at the Paul Hastings, LLP office in Washington, DC. Representatives from five professional organizations participated with ONS members and staff to generate discussion on the issues surrounding safe handling of hazardous drugs.

The objectives for the meeting were to outline key issues in the implementation of standards followed in the safe handling of hazardous drugs, and to provide consensus recommendations regarding the implementation of the U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention's General Chapter 800 Hazardous Drugs–Handling in Healthcare Settings.

Meeting Outcomes

The meeting provided the opportunity for organizational representatives to voice the concerns of their membership regarding safe handling. Presentations and discussions reviewed the literature available and member concerns regarding engineering controls, personal protective equipment (PPE), medical surveillance, attitudes, beliefs, and financial concerns. During this discussion, common ground was identified and summarized in the following consensus statements.

This group agreed that it will

  • Create and continuously promote a culture of patient and healthcare safety.
  • Provide resources, including templates, to promote compliance with implementing safe handling.
  • Reach a consensus on critical definitions (e.g., what defines a spill).
  • Include practitioner input in facility design.
  • Develop resources for how to choose PPE and closed-system transfer devices.
  • Include worker safety standards in the next iteration of chemotherapy and biotherapy safety standards.
  • Provide free access to a medical surveillance questionnaire template.

Next Steps

Participants will discuss the meeting with the organizations they represent.

  • Organizations will share their response to the USP Chapter 800 draft prior to submission to reinforce the shared points with a shared voice.
  • Approval of the joint position statement was obtained in February.
  • The group will design a plan to address consensus statements.

Meeting Attendees

External Guests

Melissa A. McDiarmid, MD, MPH, DABT (invited presenter)
Bona Benjamin, B.S.Pharm., Representing: American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP)
Patricia Kienle, RPh, MPA, FASHP, Representing: American Society of Health-System Pharmacists
Deborah Kamin, RN, PhD, Representing: American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO)
Steven K. Stranne, MD, JD, Representing: American Society of Clinical Oncology
Ryan Forrey, PharmD, MS, FASHP, Representing: Hematology/Oncology Pharmacists Association (HOPA)
Kristin Belderson, DNP, MS, RN, CPON, Representing: Association of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Nurses (APHON)
Leah Ralph, Manager, Representing: Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC)

ONS Members

Martha Polovich, PhD, RN, AOCN®
Marlon Garzo Saria, MSN, RN, AOCNS®

ONS Staff

Michele R. McCorkle Dietz, RN, MSN, Executive Director, External Relations and Business Development
Michele Galioto, RN, MSN, Director, ONS Education
Kristine B. LeFebvre, MSN, RN, AOCN®, Oncology Clinical Specialist, Education Team
Alec Stone, MA, MPA, Director of Health Policy


Clinical Lectureship

Clinical Lectureship
2016 Award Recipient
Elizabeth S. Rodriguez, DNP, RN, OCN®

To recognize and support excellence in clinical nursing practice


A $2,000 award, a plaque, and travel reimbursement to attend the ONS Annual Congress. The recipient's paper will be published in the Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing.

Eligibility Criteria 
The nominee must be an active ONS member who has been nominated by another ONS member. In addition, the nominee should
  • Have a minimum of two years' experience in oncology nursing
  • Be a recognized expert in clinical nursing practice because of his or her contributions to the development of oncology nursing.
Application Materials 
The following materials are required.
  • One-page lecture synopsis
  • Nominee's curriculum vitae
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation from any of the following: 1) colleague 2) client/significant other 3) employer/supervisor/mentor or 4) community service organization
Submit Your Nomination 
  1. Read the submission instructions.
  2. Register by creating a username and password on the awards site.
  3. Access the online nomination.

If you have any questions regarding the nomination process, please contact the ONS awards staff at 412-859-6403 or email

Important Notice About the Nomination Deadline 

ONS uses a vendor-supported online program for all award nomination applications. At exactly 5 pm ET on September 30, the application site will automatically shut down. Any applications that are not completed at this time will be terminated and will not be accepted. This deadline cannot be extended without prior authorization from the ONS Awards advisory panel and the ONS Board of Directors.

Scoring Criteria 
ONS involvement: Participation should include involvement at the local or national level, and includes membership on committees, holding office, or task force participation.
The nominee's clinical practice is consistent with the ONS Scope of Oncology Nursing Practice and demonstrates the use of the following criteria.
  • Use of theoretical concepts
  • Use of the nursing process
  • Professional development of self and others
  • Multidisciplinary collaboration
  • Quality assurance
  • Uses ethical decisionmaking
  • Reviews and applies research into practice (e.g., provides examples of actual patient contacts, a reference letter from a patient detailing patient experiences, evidence of relevant topics, lectures, a model or theory. Develops standards of care or provides a published model or theory.)
The nominee is an effective communicator.
  • Examples within reference letters
  • Presentations listed on CV well written based on the conference
  • Clinical practice contribution to literature:  Includes articles in newsletters, journals, reports, video, multimedia, computer assisted instruction, or chapters in books
The nominee contributes to the development of the oncology nursing practice.
  • Examples within reference letters or on CV
  • Clinical developments such as staff development, program development, patient teaching, support groups
  • Community outreach (Programs such as the American Cancer Society, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, camps for patients with cancer, survivor's day participation, or other related activities
  • Adjunct faculty or preceptor of students)
The clinical topic is relevant to membership at large, well written, concerns a current educational need and/or new trend.
Submit Your Nomination 

To access nomination form, please click here.

Travel Information 

The recipient will receive travel reimbursement to attend the ONS Annual Congress. ONS will reimburse the award recipient for round-trip economy airfare to and from the recipient's home address to the Congress location, provided the recipient makes all travel arrangements through American Express Travel, ONS's official travel agency. Additionally, two (2) night's lodging will be permitted provided that the recipient makes the hotel arrangements through the ONS meetings department. Meals for a 48-hour period will be reimbursed, along with the reimbursement of certain ground transportation situations and parking. Please contact for complete details about the travel reimbursement policy.