Celebrate Yourself

May 2011 Vol 2, No 3
Lillie D. Shockney, RN, BS, MAS, ONN-CG
Editor-in-Chief, JONS; Program Director, AONN+; University Distinguished Service Professor of Breast Cancer, Administrative Director, The Johns Hopkins Breast Center; Director, John Hopkins Cancer Survivorship Programs; Professor of Surgery and Oncology, JHU School of Medicine; Co-Creator, Work Stride-Managing Cancer at Work

It’s May. And that means it is National Oncology Nursing Celebration time! I hope that those of you in this profession are pausing from the hectic schedules of attempting to balance work with family life, school, and other demands and reflecting for a bit. I’m a firm believer that sometimes we need to just sit for 30 minutes: Put your body on pause, and think about the incredible opportunity we each have regarding oncology patient care.

I believe it is a privilege to be in the lives of cancer patients (for me, that means women with breast cancer) during the most vulnerable time of their lives. Having the ability to empower them with information so that they can participate in the treatment decision-making process is pretty special. Calming the nerves of a young adult daughter who is frightened she may lose her mother to this disease. Supporting, educating, and navigating patients and their families through this journey to wellness or end of life is truly an experience I value and don’t take for granted.

Take a moment to reflect back why you chose the healthcare profession you did, and the oncology field in particular, and think about the many, many patients who have benefitted from your career decisions. I hope in doing so that you truly feel and see the value you have to patients and families by looking at your career choice through the eyes of your patients.

This issue has several articles worthy of your time. We all know that disparities result in individuals not getting the cancer screening they should, and in turn not getting diagnosed early or even being able to get treatment under way in some cases or completed in others cases. This is a frustration no doubt for many of you, and it can be more difficult depending on the geographic area your cancer center is located (urban vs community; Hispanic vs white). You will read in this issue about a team of dedicated nurse navigators who decided to take this challenge on. As a result, they have developed a series of strategies that they plan to implement with the goals of increasing screening rates, increasing knowledge, undoing myths, and saving lives.

There has been a lot of media coverage over the past 18 months regarding mammography— who should (and shouldn’t) get annual screening mammograms. It has been a hot topic of controversy at many conferences, where presenters on both sides go head to head (or breast to breast?) about who needs mammograms, at what age to start, and how often. There is a special patient population, however, that needs our focused attention. These are young women with a family history of breast cancer. When should these women begin mammography? How helpful is each method of breast imaging, recognizing that young women commonly have dense breast tissue? You will have the opportunity to read about a study that was performed looking at sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy that I’m confident you will find helpful. Take advantage and share these types of literary works with your colleagues. We hope that as a reader you will join our forum and consider submitting your work for publication too.

Lillie D. Shockney, RN, BS, MAS


Related Articles
Achieving the Mission: Promoting Evidence-Based Navigation Practices
November 2018 Vol 9, NO 11

This time of year is one of great excitement for us at JONS and the Academy of Oncology Nurse & Patient Navigators (AONN+).

The Value of Palliative Care Early in the Treatment Process
Lillie D. Shockney, RN, BS, MAS, ONN-CG
Best Practices in Breast Cancer – October 2018 Vol 9
Palliative care has a serious identity problem. Seventy percent of Americans describe themselves as “not at all knowledgeable” about palliative care, and most healthcare professionals believe it is synonymous with end-of-life care.1 This perception is not far from current medical practice, because specialty palliative care—administered by clinicians with expertise in palliative medicine—is predominantly offered through hospice care or inpatient consultation only after life-prolonging treatment has failed. This means that the majority of patients who could benefit from palliative care are not receiving it until they are very close to death. To ensure that patients with metastatic breast cancer receive the best cancer care throughout their disease trajectory, palliative care should be initiated alongside standard oncology care, and it should be implemented early.
Recognizing Progress and Encouraging Further Strides in Breast Cancer
Lillie D. Shockney, RN, BS, MAS, ONN-CG
Best Practices in Breast Cancer – October 2018 Vol 9
In addition to the obligatory orange and black decorations of October, it’s also the time of year to don your pink in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month! The progress we have made as a nation in elevating the importance of regular breast cancer screenings, funding research, and supporting breast cancer survivors has had a direct impact on our ability to increase and improve survivorship.
Last modified: June 11, 2018

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