October 2015 Vol 6, No 5

With the increasing number of cancer survivors and their complex needs, new models of care are needed to aid patients in their transition to survivorship care. An individualized treatment summary and survivorship care plan can help patients and healthcare providers smoothly transition to survivorship care in a community-based setting.
A number of essential articles are published in specialized peer-reviewed publications that many healthcare providers don’t routinely read. Exchanging peer-reviewed articles with your multidisciplinary team can help provide valuable insights and improve patient care as a result.
Patients in rural settings often experience geographic and financial barriers in their transition to oncology survivorship care. Using telemedicine can improve patients’ access to care and their outcomes, and survivorship clinics should be specifically evaluated for rural populations.
We conducted a survey of patients who were identified from the Baystate Medical Center tumor registry who presented with breast cancer between 1997 and 2007. The women had ongoing follow-up with a medical oncologist or with a breast cancer survivorship clinic with guideline-based surveillance but no survivorship care plan (SCP) and were initially treated by the present investigators. After confirmation of study eligibility (stage I-III disease, no distant relapse, age >18 years, able to complete questionnaires, and 1-10 years since diagnosis), an invitation-to-participate letter was sent by each patient’s physician.
With navigation and certification, the multitude of terms such as nurse navigator, patient navigator, lay navigator, and even GPS nurse can lead to confusion. The Academy of Oncology Nurse & Patient Navigators is working to develop certification plans that are tailored to oncology nurse navigators. Cancer survivors are often confused too, for different reasons: they may have a difficult time remembering all the details of their cancer treatment. Survivorship care plans may be able to help.
Regardless of their career path, nurses can advance in their profession through certification and education by attending conferences and educational events, pursuing degrees, and participating in evidence-based research.
The following clinical trials are currently recruiting patients with myelodysplastic syndrome for inclusion in a variety of studies targeting a specific subpopulation of patients with this syndrome. Each trial description includes the NLM Identifier to use as a reference with ClinicalTrials.gov. The information below can help oncology nurse navigators direct their appropriate patients to a specific clinical trial described here.
Compared with other healthcare professions, patient navigation is still a relatively new discipline. Thus, significant confusion remains regarding the role, scope of practice, and ideal training and credentials for patient navigators. The George Washington University Cancer Institute has developed Core Competencies for Oncology Patient Navigators and recently released a competency-based online training program that is freely available to patient navigators.

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