excellence in Oncology:
our Patients, Our Passion

. :  Archive for April 2014

Crystele Montpetit (Fraser Valley Center)

Crystele Montpetit, RN, BScN

Over the past year I have had the opportunity to lead a research project as Principal Investigator. The entire research process has been an incredible learning experience. It’s amazing to know that a simple idea can possibly lead to a change in nursing practice.

A preliminary study was conducted to evaluate the potential ability of InterDry Ag to relieve discomfort from radiation skin reactions of the breast. Twenty eligible participants consented to wear the InterDry AG as advised. The effectiveness of InterDry Ag was evaluated every five days through a skin assessment as well as a participant questionnaire. A personalized skin care regime was developed during these appointments with feedback from the patient. Patient engagement provided a sense of empowerment as the patient became a partner in their care.

An unexpected, yet positive outcome of this study has been the emotional support these patients received during their skin assessments. A therapeutic relationship developed between the nurse and the patient through the research process. Patients shared their personal experiences in terms of their diagnosis and the unique impact on their lives.

Crystele Montpetit, RN, BScN

Oncology Nursing Day – Simcoe-Muskoka Chapter

We had a fabulous OND 2014.  The chapter provided cotton candy in the traditional CANO colours to all of our oncology nursing staff.  The hospital provided popcorn so we thought this would compliment it.  The nurses loved it and thought it was a real treat!  We were then treated to a potluck lunch provided by our amazing clerks.

We held our annual OND Dinner on Thursday April 3, 2014 at Liberty North in Barrie and it was a huge success. We started the evening with a slide presentation that consisted of nurses within the hospital, community and palliative care network holding up signs indicating how many years of nursing they have which then followed by snapshots of things they like to do for self care.  This included activities, family, animals, etc.  It was so wonderful to watch during our dinner.   We then went on to the Chapter Champion Award for the nurse who most demonstrates Patient Engagement.  This was awarded to Maryellen Love.  There was a lovely tribute read followed by a video where nurses, clerks and doctors all spoke about Maryellen.  It was very touching.  She was awarded a beautiful crystal award, roses and her CANO membership paid for one year.

We then had two wonderful speakers.  Ann Green, who owns Bliss/Ann Green Yoga.  She spoke to us regarding Self Care and how to avoid compassion fatigue.  We also had Catherine Wallis-Smith, Educator from the Simcoe-Muskoka Palliative Care Network, speaking on Patient Engagement and Self Care.  These speakers were amazing and the attendee’s are still talking about the evening.  We also had prizes donated by community business and individuals which also made the night a lot of fun.  Thanks to CANO funding and thanks to the generosity and kindness of Theo Fitch and his group at Novartis who sponsored our dinner, the night was the best OND dinner ever!

Sandy Calvano, President
CANO Simcoe-Muskoka Chapter

Christine Ransom

Christine Ransom, RN

Having remained in a specialty for so many years has given me the gift of living the evolution of cancer care over the past 40 years.  The book “The Emporer of all Maladies” by Siddhartha Mukherjie  was such a fascinating read for me as I could recall the various drug therapies that came to be such as Gleevac and how it revolutionalized CML; Herceptin for Her 2 positive breast cancer and ritux in lymphoma; new targeted therapies for renal cancer and other life saving treatments.  This book so aptly described the challenges for oncologists and cancer team members in this very  complex specialty of medicine.  I have also witnessed my sister-in-law survive treatment and transplantation  for ALL; watched her manage the long term side effects with such grace.  Excellence in care now provides support to patients in the outpatient setting and for us in the interior the monthly interdisciplinary bone marrow out patient clinics has been a huge service.

Many of the standard drug cocktails administered back then are still being used.  AC and FEC for breast cancer; carbo/taxol for ovarian cancer; CHOP in lymphoma; ABVD for hodgkins;  chlorambucil, 5FU, methotrexate  have been around for a long time; to name a few.  However, what used to be a relatively few number of protocols has exploded into over 350 treatment regimens.   This has afforded multi lines of therapies which keep lives extended and often suffering alleviated.  I remember the days of nursing patients with distressing bowel obstructions; terrible suppurating breast wounds, cord compressions in prostate and renal cancer patients  prior to the very important  role of palliative chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

For the full discussion, please click here.

Karen Woodworth (Halifax)

Karen Woodworth, Capital Health Cancer Care Program, Halifax

“I see myself as a patient navigator. My aim is to put my patients and their families at ease. I try to understand their expectations then offer front-line support. In the process I really see the value for the patients and their families of being actively engaged.”

Karen Woodworth, Capital Health Cancer Care Program, Halifax



Deborah McLeod (Halifax)

Deborah McLeod R.N., Ph.D.
Clinician Scientist, Psychosocial Oncology Team (NSCC)
QEII Health Sciences Centre

“Patient-centred has been an ideal for oncology nurses for a long time . . . now we are seeing much more attention and direction about how patients can be engaged. Guidelines and policies are now designed to encourage us to do it. The patient’s experience is more of a priority than ever before.”

Deborah McLeod R.N., Ph.D.
Clinician Scientist, Psychosocial Oncology Team (NSCC)
QEII Health Sciences Centre

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