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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


Excellence in Radiation Therapy Nursing Award

Excellence in Radiation Therapy Nursing Award
2015 Award Recipient
Cynthia J. Briola, RN, OCN®, CBCN

To recognize and support excellence in radiation therapy nursing


A $250 award, a plaque, and travel reimbursement to attend the ONS Annual Congress

Eligibility Criteria 
The nominee must be an active ONS member who has been nominated by an ONS member. In addition, the nominee should
  • Be a registered professional nurse
  • Have at least two years of oncology nursing experience
  • Be a recognized expert in the field of radiation oncology (i.e., through publications, presentations, research, peer review)
  • Have made a significant contribution to one or more of the following related to radiation oncology: professional/patient education, clinical practice, and /or nursing research
  • Serve as a role model for other radiation oncology nurses.
Application Materials 
The following materials are required.
  • Nomination narrative statement
  • Nominee's resume or curriculum vitae
  • Nominee's personal statement
  • Two (2) letters of support
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 
The scoring criteria for judging this nomination packet is as follows.
  • Clinical practice: Consistently demonstrates exemplary understanding and execution of the care of patients receiving radiation therapy.
  • Education: Shares knowledge of practice with students, peers, patients, and the community. (Examples include, but are not limited to, joint appointment(s), precepting students, staff development, program planning, patient teaching, outreach programs, and CNE programs).
  • Research: Demonstrates commitment to the advancement of practice through evidence of participation in research and research activities (possible activities include participation as data collector, site coordinator, study monitor, member of research team, co-investigator, principal investigator in a clinical research study related to radiation therapy. In addition, participation in research utilization activities, which promote research-based radiation oncology nursing practice).
  • Speaking: Regularly demonstrates expertise in field through public speaking and is recognized as an effective oral communicator.
  • Publication: Regularly contributes to the literature on issues regarding radiation therapy (includes articles in newsletters, journals, reports, video, multimedia, computer assisted instruction, or chapters in books).
  • ONS leadership: Participates in ONS activities at the local or national level. (Participation should include involvement at the local or national level, and includes membership on committees, holding office, or task force participation).
  • Professional practice: Provides leadership in activities, which advance the practice of radiation nursing (activities may include staff development, program development, patient teaching, or support groups. It might also include community outreach such as work with the ACS, Leukemia Society, or camps for cancer patients, or "survivors' day" activities. 
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, one (1) night's lodging will be permitted provided that the recipient makes the hotel arrangements through the ONS meetings department. Meals for a 24-hour period will be reimbursed, along with the reimbursement of certain ground transportation situations and parking, but there are limitations. Please contact for complete details about the travel reimbursement policy.