The following article features coverage from the National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists (NACNS) 2018 Annual Conference in Austin, Texas. Click here to read more of Oncology Nurse Advisor‘s conference coverage. 

A clinical nurse specialist-led team may improve the experience of patients with cancer undergoing fertility-impacting treatment, according to findings presented at the National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists (NACNS) 2018 Annual Conference.

Improvements in survival with the advancement of medicine among patients with cancer have led to a growing need to choose an appropriate course of treatment considering survivorship issues. Treatment-related infertility has the potential to greatly reduce survivor quality of life, but fertility preservation is difficult as anticancer therapy must often be initiated swiftly without the necessary time to consult with fertility specialists. 

For this study, inpatient clinical nurse specialists (CNSs) collaborated with fertility nurse specialists to implement an inpatient sperm banking (ISB) program. Nurse specialists received training on sperm banking education, forms, checklists, and procedures. 

Outcomes showed that the ISB was able to deliver timely consultations regarding fertility preservation; over the course of the study, a total of 19 referrals for sperm banking were received, of which 63% were managed by the ISB team.

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The authors concluded that “the CNS plays a pivotal role in the care of vulnerable patients such as those undergoing fertility-impacting treatment. A core group of experts to organize, educate, and execute such a program is paramount to optimizing the patient experience and successfully fulfilling an unmet need.”

Reference

Love-Retinger N, Krist N. Bringing fertility preservation to the bedside. Oral presentation at: NACNS 2018 Annual Conference; February 28-March 3, 2018; Austin, TX.