Oncology-Specific, One-Day Orientation Program Encourages Multidisciplinary Collaboration

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An oncology-specific, one-day orientation program has  potential to increase staff knowledge of clinical resources and patient care.
An oncology-specific, one-day orientation program has potential to increase staff knowledge of clinical resources and patient care.

ORLANDO, FL—An oncology-specific, one-day orientation program has the potential to affect current practice positively by increasing staff knowledge of clinical resources and patient care services available to oncology patients, a report at the ONS 40th Annual Congress has found.

The Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) Cancer Program offers multiple services in a variety of locations, which can be challenging for new nursing and allied health employees to navigate, said Donna Colabroy, RN, MSN, OCN®, CCM, of LVHN in Allentown, Pennsylvania.

Recognizing the need to reevaluate their orientation program, oncology nurse leaders formed a redesign team that included representatives from each area involved in caring for patients with cancer: oncology nurses, social workers, medical secretaries, registrars, financial coordinators, advanced practice nurses, and additional allied health professionals.

“The team acknowledged the importance of educating entry colleagues regarding scope and context of available oncology services throughout the healthcare system,” Colabroy said.

Brainstorming sessions provided a vision for what would be the end product: a 1-day orientation with face-to-face presentations from every department within the LVHN Cancer Program, which was implemented in September 2014.

“A multidisciplinary orientation redesign committee suggested speakers come to the orientees, key information from every area of the cancer program be included, all new hires attend, and to make it positive and fun,” Maura Price, RN, BSN, OCN, said during the presentation.

“Results from pre/post assessments and evaluations revealed that participants had increased knowledge of LVHN's Cancer Program services, locations, and how to access them as a result of the one-day program,” Colabroy said.

“We got overwhelmingly positive feedback: ‘Comprehensive program,' ‘Great introduction to all departments,' ‘Learned about multidisciplinary teams under the cancer program umbrella.'”

“We are currently working on a program to support our oncology nurse preceptors,” she said.

The redesign team was led by 2 oncology nurses, who developed the program, creating objectives, an evaluation form, and pre/post-test orientation day assessments.

“The program encourages multidisciplinary collaboration and promotes the highest quality patient care,” Colabroy concluded. “Further studies are needed to measure effectiveness of this format in other institutions and offer insight for future programs.”

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