Often faced with overwhelming anxiety, patients newly diagnosed with lung cancer can find themselves in distress, and new research recommends nurses play a key role in alleviating concerns, leading to a better quality of life for patients. A diagnosis of lung cancer — the leading cause of cancer death in the United States — brings with it high levels of stress and raises existential issues and death-related thoughts and concerns in patients, said Rebecca H. In a paper published in the current edition of the Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing, Lehto lays out several ways nurses can help bridge the gap between diagnosis and a strong psychological outlook during treatment. Too often, health care providers are solely focused on treatment and disease management, Lehto said. Her research identifies the types of death-related concerns that people experience and strategies to help resolve the normal but often distressing psychological responses in the early post-diagnostic and treatment period.
I knew perfectly well that my chemotherapy drug combination could make me bald, but Diahnosed still hoped against hope and wished for a miracle that maybe my hair was so strong it would get thin but would not fall at all. Use therapeutic communication skills of Active-Listening, acknowledgment, and so on. Prevents Adult movie surch to delicate and fragile tissues. Jo Stephenson. So as she underwent treatment after her own breast cancer diagnosis in —and continued to work—she also gained insight into what constitutes a successful transition back to health at work and at home and what factors Nurses diagnosed with cancer determine that success. Share Facebook Twitter LinkedIn.
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C: The cells differ from normal in both benign and malignant tumors. Ask them for help. Encourage patient to avoid vigorous rubbing and scratching and to pat skin dry instead of rubbing. Feelings of guilt, spiritual distress, Het a symptoms, or lack of cure may cause patient to become withdrawn and believe that suicide is a viable alternative. IM use is not recommended because absorption is not reliable, in Nurses diagnosed with cancer to being painful and inconvenient. Sensitive balls? Offer them cash with the animal or your car to sell — something. Show per page: Plan care to allow for rest periods. Inform patient that if alopecia occurs, hair could grow back after completion of chemotherapy, but may or may not grow back after radiation therapy.
PDF of Communication Skills
- Manny Alvarez sits down with a stage 4 esophageal cancer survivor to talk about the rare but deadly disease and what new innovative treatment helped to put her in remission for the last five years.
- Go do something you love — an activity you can lose yourself in, and think on things a moment before reaction and making decisions.
- Cancer is a general term used to describe a disturbance of cellular growth and refers to a group of diseases and not a single disease entity.
- Nurse plays a major role in cancer care.
A new feature has been launched with this issue. Each story is a true account of a nurse who finds him or herself in the role of both nurse and patient. Authors of this new feature have the option of identifying him or herself and if they wish, can chose to provide a way for readers to contact them. As editor I will make every attempt to check what is written is true, accurate and has actually been experienced by the author. I am excited to add this new feature to the journal and look to you, our readers, to let us know your impressions.
We also look to you to contribute your own personal stories. This first story has been well written and is reflective of what the nurse author truly experienced. She openly shares her feelings from the first reaction of disbelief that she has cancer to, overtime, coming to grips with the fact that she is not only a nurse but is also now a cancer patient.
Her insights, I believe, sheds light on the interplay between facing reality and feelings of fear and anxiety. One needs to believe they have the courage and confidence to move into the unknown world of being a cancer patient. You will recognize this author describes as she strives to reach that point. Nurses are referred to as the heart or backbone of health care.
In these modern times, the nursing profession has become more demanding and multidimensional in order to respond to the rapid change and trends in health care. Thus, nurses' roles have expanded from monotonous bedside nursing to becoming leaders, educators, and independent practitioners. However, regardless of how resilient the nursing workforce can be, they are not immune to illness.
The very nature of the job of nurses and other health-care professionals places them in a variety of dangerous workplace situations and environments that pose risks and threats to their health.
Today, most nurses work extremely strenuously, and due to the unfavorable workplace situations and exposures to workplace hazards, they become more vulnerable to diseases. One common disease that nurses are not spared is having cancer. May it be occupational, genetic, or environment related, the diagnosis of cancer in a nurse will cause a deep impact and profound effects in all dimensions of life. I am a nurse, and, I too, am walking in the shoes of patient, along with thousands of nurses and other health-care professionals whose lives were disrupted, shattered, or lost because of cancer.
One might say, we are all but human beings so what if you are a nurse, what makes you different from others feeling that you should not get cancer? I agree that we are all human beings, but what makes a nurse so special and deserving that she gets cancer?
It is depressing that nurses after taking care of other people's health and despite their knowledge of management and prevention of diseases would one day be diagnosed with cancer and suffer from its effects just like the patients. But then again, there are no exceptions to becoming ill and diagnosed with cancer.
In , at the age of 43, my diagnosis of breast cancer invasive ductal carcinoma stage 2A came like a bomb to my life. I was then raising my three children at very tender ages 19, 11, and 5 years old. As they were born within different generations — they needed my love, time, guidance, and yes, they needed the individualized and holistic care that a nurse renders to her patients.
I am a typical hands-on-working-mom, living with an average monthly income I was juggling my domestic chores and my nursing job. I was at the stage of giving all my time taking care of my children and using all my resources to provide their needs so that they would grow and bring out their best in everything, build their own lives, and learn to live independently in the future.
This is my top priority as a mom and my dream as a parent. Second, the devastating diagnosis of cancer came at a point of my life I considered as the peak of my career as a nurse, when I felt I had all the skills, knowledge, and confidence to deliver at my very best the nursing care needed by my patients. With all that optimism, I have come to love, appreciate, enjoy, and learn to be patient in my job taking care of people both sick and healthy, despite all the complexities within the nature of my nursing job combined with the struggles of motherhood.
Moreover, the friendship, camaraderie, and teamwork among my colleagues became an added motivation and inspiration for me to stick to my job as a nurse. In , my youngest child turned 3 years old and started going to school.
I was so happy and fulfilled to see that I have finally gotten through the long years of babysitting my children as they were now growing and becoming more independent. It paved a way for me to finally find time for things that I had wanted to do but did not due to constraints. I felt that I had gained some freedom for myself and my diminishing self-esteem.
One of the things I had been dreaming of was to pursue a master's degree in nursing. So, I made my plans and set my goals while I firmly stood with my commitment to make my children and their welfare my priority. Graduate school went smoothly, giving me that feeling of satisfaction and pride in myself realizing that I can do more, and I can be more.
At this very significant time of my life, cancer came like a bomb wrecking all my goals and dreams, seizing the freedom and fulfillment I had just regained for myself. In the second year of my master's degree in nursing, the time came for me to enroll in writing my thesis and eventually propose a title subject.
One of the topics listed that I am interested in researching was about the lived experiences of nurses becoming patients that when tables are turned, how it would affect or influence the nurse's professional and personal life.
At the final stage of my research proposal, the panel asked me to choose one type of illness that could certainly affect or influence a nurse's professional and personal life. It became my thesis title. In my study, I had 12 nurses living with cancer as my respondents, some of them I personally knew, whom I invited to become my respondents. As soon as they agreed, I began to meet with them and listened to their narratives. Notably, the thesis writing occupied almost all my time with all the bulk of different research articles to read, online searches, interviews, and writing a draft of the first three chapters to the point of disregarding a tiny lump I once felt in my right breast thinking that it could just be hormonal and would disappear after menstruation.
However, the lump persisted and I felt it had grown over a few months to be a bit bigger in size; but, what prompted me to consult a doctor was the accompanying pain for more than a week. I consulted a breast surgeon, and a breast ultrasound was done.
On the next day, I got a sealed white envelope in my hands that would tell the verdict. To open or not to open the envelope, I did not know because as a nurse, I knew what every written word in the results could mean. I thought it perhaps would be better if I just read the results at home. But in the middle of the street, I stopped walking, and a sudden impulse told me to open the envelope and read the impression—a BI-RADS category V, a highly malignant tumor.
In that particular moment, I was numb, my mind was blank and empty, no emotions, and no tears. I was in total shock and denial, all I could hear were the deafening echoes of my heartbeat saying that I had breast cancer.
I do not even remember how I managed to get my bus ride home. I went on with my household chores as if nothing was bothering me. But, as I was lying in my bed that night, I thought of the narratives of the nurses I interviewed for my thesis, I never thought of myself as having breast cancer.
In this moment, I asked myself, could this be a mere coincidence, a sort of test, or a joke to have breast cancer like the nurses I interviewed for my research?
I resisted the thought but its true—I was one of them now. As required by my health condition, I had to take time out of my usual daily activities as a mother and nurse to be in the hospital for surgery. With a heart full of despair, I took leave from work and graduate school, locking in my drawer and saving in my computer the first chapters of the thesis I was writing about nurses with cancer, which, in that particular time of my life, were absolute pictures of the many paths and crossroads of the difficult journey I was about to take on.
I felt and acted in an ordinary manner like a nurse advocating for her patient. It had not yet sunk in that I was really going to be the patient — the one being talked about. In my search of related literature for my thesis, I had read a study by Schwind[ 1 ] about nurse-teachers who became ill. We are all in the same space and time of overwhelming anxiety, confusion, fear, and uncertainty where our sense of self as nurse and an ordinary individual was threatened.
It is being in a world that is both familiar and foreign, as the nurse gives up the authority and control in caring for others while submitting oneself as patient. I was admitted to the hospital 1 day before the scheduled surgery, 4 days before my 44 th birthday.
As I walked into my room, dressed in a hospital gown with a patient's tag on my wrist, I knew that for me, the tables had turned. The night before the surgery was peaceful but I did not sleep well. Nurses came in and out to check my vital signs and to give instructions repeatedly about the next day's 7 am operating room OR schedule.
Seated in my wheelchair, I was placed in the queue with other patients at the OR's receiving area, perhaps there were ten of us at that time. I looked at their faces one by one, but nobody dared to say anything to anyone.
I was wondering if it was really like this in an OR's receiving area, why people were not talking, and whether we felt the same?
Every minute that passed by seemed like eternity and I felt that if I was not taken out in another minute, I will end up in the psychiatric unit. Finally, we were each brought one by one to our assigned OR. The nurse put me in the stainless OR bed with a mattress as cold as iced water. I didn't know what I was feeling exactly, it was all mixed up with stress, fear, and confusion of what was in store for me, but still not enough to make me believe and convince myself that I had cancer, or that in a few hours, I would be officially diagnosed with cancer.
I remained in denial and still hoping that the biopsy would be negative. Then I felt a chill in me, as my heart was pounding so loudly.
My surgeon and her assistants, and the anesthesiologist all came early and greeted me with their smiling happy faces.
As we were about to start, my surgeon explained again for the n th time that if the biopsy came out clean, they would close the incision and I would be awake in no time at all. But, if it was positive, they would go on with the modified radical mastectomy. I signed all the consents and waivers, there was no turning back.
So, before I had closed my eyes to sleep, I told myself one thing that as soon as I woke up and regained my consciousness, I would search my chest to see if I am wrapped in a bandage or not. If not, I will go home right away, hug my children, and cook their favorite crunchy fried chicken. But, what if it's the other way around?
I did not like the idea and could not accept the idea at all. Hours later, I woke up in the recovery room. I was cold, my throat felt dry, and I was confused and disoriented about the place. Then, I remembered what I had told myself before the anesthesia took over. I touched my chest with my trembling hands and it was wrapped in a tight bandage. Since the day of my cancer diagnosis, my life has changed way beyond my imagination.
All of a sudden, my life, as well as that of my family, was disrupted. But even more than my hospital admission and discharge, what has bothered me most has been how to explain to my children the crises that our family was now facing — would they be able to understand, wondering how prepared could they be to face all the circumstances that were yet to come. After a month of rest and follow-up check-ups, I regained my strength and the incision in my right breast was completely healed.
What was next scared me the most—chemotherapy. As a nurse, again I knew how chemotherapy worked and all its side effects.
The group received the award, and Michelle and her children were on hand for the surprise presentation. The article goes to further point out that health care providers should be aware of the fact that these informational needs change in due course of the care and give scope for the patient to play an active role in his end-of-life care. But think hard about your treatment plan, discuss it with your doctor, get a second opinion if you like, then make a decision. Encourage use of stress management skills or complementary therapies relaxation techniques, visualization, guided imagery, biofeedback, laughter, music, aromatherapy, and therapeutic touch. Nurs 43 5.
Nurses diagnosed with cancer. Practice Quiz: Cancer
Exclusive: Vital that cancer diagnosis given in ‘right way’, says senior charity nurse
Often faced with overwhelming anxiety, patients newly diagnosed with lung cancer can find themselves in distress, and new research recommends nurses play a key role in alleviating concerns, leading to a better quality of life for patients. A diagnosis of lung cancer — the leading cause of cancer death in the United States — brings with it high levels of stress and raises existential issues and death-related thoughts and concerns in patients, said Rebecca H.
In a paper published in the current edition of the Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing, Lehto lays out several ways nurses can help bridge the gap between diagnosis and a strong psychological outlook during treatment. Too often, health care providers are solely focused on treatment and disease management, Lehto said. Her research identifies the types of death-related concerns that people experience and strategies to help resolve the normal but often distressing psychological responses in the early post-diagnostic and treatment period.
Lehto said the biggest hurdle to overcome often is helping patients come to grips with the impact of the disease — and the possibility of death — on loved ones.
Nurses can provide patient education materials and offer support in managing life affairs. Other strategies include exploring life stories, discussing personal relationships and spiritual resources and helping patients locate resources to make funeral arrangements, update wills and other legal issues.
Nurses can listen for patient concerns and focus only on personally relevant information so as not to further overwhelm them. Lehto said the nurse role is essential despite concern that such discussions will increase psychological distress for patients.
Podcast from the Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing. Header Navigation Search. Certification in College Teaching Program Handbooks.
MSN Programs Handbooks. May 21, Often faced with overwhelming anxiety, patients newly diagnosed with lung cancer can find themselves in distress, and new research recommends nurses play a key role in alleviating concerns, leading to a better quality of life for patients. Individuals treated for lung cancer report higher illness burden, lower quality of life, and higher psychological distress compared with survivors of other cancers. Her subsequent pilot work examined structural characteristics associated with severe worry.
Lehto aims to further test and refine her conceptual framework, evaluate behavioral outcomes, and develop and test a theoretically grounded cognitive-behavioral intervention program to help the vulnerable survivors of lung cancer to reduce their worry. Accessibility Contact Us.