Oncology nursing (aka cancer nursing) is a specialized field of health care in which a highly trained registered nurse who specializes in oncology provides medical care to patients who are either suffering from cancer or are at risk of developing cancer.
Oncology nurses are responsible for monitoring a patients vital signs and medical condition, recording the patients medical history and maintaining medical records, educating patients about their condition, administering medication, participating in surgery and other medical procedures, assisting patients with chemotherapy and radiation therapy and helping patients with other forms of treatment related to their medical condition.
These nurses also provide education and emotional support to the families who may have a family member suffering from cancer by teaching family members how to best care for the cancer patient and assist the patient with home treatment and basic medical care.
On a deeper level of specialty training oncology nurses may choose to focus on more specific types of cancer or a particular demographic such as breast cancer, colon cancer, child cancer or geriatric patients who are at risk for developing cancer.
As advancements in patient care progress within the cancer field the importance of educated oncology nurses will continue to increase in order to meet the demands of those who are either dealing with cancer or at risk of developing cancer.
Oncology nurses may work in a number of different health care settings such as at a hospital, cancer ward, geriatric center, hospital, specialty healthcare clinic, cancer treatment center or a number of other settings where cancer treatment and/or information may be required.
In terms of salary oncology nurses can earn anywhere from $50,000 – 80,000 or more depending on the state in which they operate, the number of hours they work, their level of education and any financial agreements made between them and their employer.
In conclusion, oncology nurses care for those who are either dealing with cancer or at risk of acquiring cancer and use their education, training and experience to provide medical care and treatment to their patients, educate patients and families about how cancer works and how to best prepare or deal with cancer and facilitate better health care practices aimed it reducing or eliminating the threat of cancer within a community, state or society.