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By Marci Andrejko, BSN, RN, OCN®

Oncologic emergencies are clinical conditions resulting from metabolic, neurologic, cardiovascular, hematologic, and/or infectious changes caused by cancer or its treatment. They are emergent situations, which can sometimes occur quite abruptly, and require immediate intervention to prevent the loss of life or quality of life. At some point in your oncology nursing career, you may have read, attended educational courses, or inflatable floating water park even physically provided care for a patient experiencing an oncologic emergency. It is these learning experiences that help prepare nurses to be alert and aware of changes in patient conditions and instill confidence to provide the quality care needed during these times. These patients can deteriorate right in front of you, but nurses are in the position to saves lives and improve the course of the illness.

Last Sunday, Super Bowl XLIX was watched by millions of people, myself included. I caught myself thinking about how it feels to confidently enter into a difficult situation, such as oncologic emergencies, and come out on the winning end. Just as in football, all team players must know their role. Oncologic emergencies are life threatening, and knowing the fundamentals, such as assessing, diagnosing, and treating a patient, is the key to succeed in improving health outcomes.

On Saturday afternoon, April 25, at the ONS 40th Annual Congress, Martha Lassiter, MSN, AOCNS®, BMTCN™, and Juanita Madison, RN, will present Oncologic Emergencies: A Case-Based Approach.  This session will provide the latest updates in assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and nursing considerations for various oncologic emergencies.

I know that I want to be on the winning end. How about you? Pick your chair and I will see you there!


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