The inpatient oncology/renal nursing area includes 30 beds at Community Hospital North, with a nurse:patient ratio of one R.N./L.P.N. team to every six patients. Patient support partners (PSPs) also assist in a ratio of 10:1. Shifts include a combination of 8- and 12-hour shifts, with rotation every other weekend (8-hour) or every third weekend (12-hour).
Nurses in this inpatient area have the opportunity to learn about oncology (cancer), chemotherapy procedures and renal failure care. Patient populations served include elderly, hospice, renal and oncology (cancer) patients. Common patient diagnoses include pneumonia, congestive heart failure, diabetes, acute and chronic renal failure, deep vein thrombosis (DVT), and oncology concerns (tumors, etc.). Typical daily nursing activities in this area include assessments, medication passes, critical thinking, chemotherapy and direct care of patients.
Specialized equipment used in this area includes Stryker beds with built-in bed alarms, computers, bar code scanning technology for medical administartion, Pyxis®, team lift, IV pumps, PCA pumps, Dynamap blood pressure monitors, bladder scanners, AirPal, EasyStand standing frames, and Accu-Chek blood glucose monitoring products.
Nurses in this unit feel it is special because of the "supportive staff, specialized care of the chronically ill patients, and the blessing of assistance in hospice care." Nurses who stay in the oncology/renal area like the challenge of being busy and seeing something new every day. They treat each other with respect and hold one another to a higher standard of care.
Outstanding nurses in this area care with their whole heart and are giving of themselves to the care of the patient and family members beyond what is expected. They are observant, intelligent critical thinkers, as well as very patient and understanding.
Exceptional patient experiences
"We threw a beach party for a leukemic patient who had a dream of getting to the beach. She never made it; our party was the closest she got. One of our managers even got her husband to come in and play keyboards. We made frozen virgin margaritas and piña coladas, provided a tropical scarf and outfit for the patient to wear, and had some of her favorite foods."
"Another time there was a patient who had his birthday in the hospital. He told his nurse that he and his wife usually celebrate their birthdays together (as hers was a few days away) at Red Lobster. We arranged a Red Lobster lunch to be brought in for him and his wife for their birthday celebration. It was complete with cheddar biscuits and Red Lobster even donated the meal."
"Without knowing the others were coming, five of us met at the funeral home of a patient who had fought cancer for nearly two years and lost her battle. The husband and daughter were so surprised to see us. We were introduced to all the family and friends as the angels that cared for Judy. We were hugged, patted on the back and thanked feverishly for our exceptional care of not only the patient, but also the family."