By Carol Cannon, RN, BSN, OCN®
I remember when I started as a nurse, fresh from the ICU, now caring for patients with cancer. They would stumble over words, have trouble remembering things from the recent past, or forget tasks. “Chemobrain,” they would say. As if that one word was a catchall phrase to adequately explain various memory deficits. How strange, I thought. Surely it cannot be that simple.
Neurotoxicity is not that simple. Identifying signs and symptoms of cancer treatment-related neurotoxicity is a critical piece of every oncology nurse’s role. But if you’re anything like me, that simple sounding “neuro check” can be an overwhelmingly daunting task, unless your practice requires them frequently.
Luckily, at the ONS 40th Annual Congress, two experts will present Neurotoxicity in Cancer Care: A Case-Based Approach. Mary Elizabeth Davis, RN, MSN, AOCNS®, and Wayne Quashie, MSN, RN, ACNS-BC, AOCNS®, will present specific cases to educate us on cognitive deficits, peripheral system disorders, and central system disorders. The audience will leave with an enhanced ability to assess for and manage short- and long-term complications, improving our patients’ quality of life during and after cancer treatment.