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TU_42_2906 - Development and Implementation of an Interprofessional Curriculum for Radiation Oncology Nursing Staff

Tuesday, October 23
1:00 PM - 2:30 PM
Location: Innovation Hub, Exhibit Hall 3

Development and Implementation of an Interprofessional Curriculum for Radiation Oncology Nursing Staff
E. M. Chang1, W. Chin1, A. T. Dang1, J. V. Hegde1, N. Jiang1, K. A. Sandler1, Y. Yuan1, T. B. Kaprealian1, A. U. Kishan1, S. A. McCloskey1, M. L. Steinberg2, and N. Shaverdian1; 1Department of Radiation Oncology, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, 2University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA

Purpose/Objective(s): Radiation oncology nurses play a key role in patient care; however, exposure to radiation oncology in formal training is often inadequate to prepare nurses for their role in an ever more complex practice environment. We sought to create a formalized curriculum for nursing staff to enhance confidence in managing common clinical scenarios.

Materials/Methods: Nursing staff from a single radiation oncology department participated in this study. Participants were initially surveyed to gauge interest level and identify gaps in knowledge. Results of this assessment were used to design a pilot curriculum of 10 30-minute lectures delivered twice monthly. Lectures were devised by the radiation oncology residents and covered the basic elements of radiation therapy, common cancers, toxicity management, and post-treatment monitoring. Pre-, mid-, and post-curriculum surveys were administered to assess engagement and self-reported level of confidence in managing 7 common clinical scenarios, such as answering questions at consultation and managing side effects (scale 1-10; 1=”not confident” and 10=”most confident”). Nurses received continuing education credits for participation.

Results: A total of 12 nursing staff participated in the course, with lectures delivered by 8 residents. The majority of participants (58%) attended at least 7 of 10 lectures. At baseline, 58% reported receiving no radiation oncology-related classroom lecture and 75% no clinical experience in formal training. Most common educational sources included hands-on clinical experience (92%) and asking fellow nurses/medical assistants (92%), with 67% citing asking therapists/dosimetrists and 58% asking physicians. The vast majority of participants agreed or strongly agreed that more education about how radiation works (92%), radiation side effects (92%), and commonly treated cancers (92%) would improve their ability to care for patients. On mid-curriculum surveys, 100% of participants found the curriculum to be useful, 100% reported direct impact on clinical work, and 100% requested additional lectures. On post-curriculum surveys, mean confidence scores increased across all domains surveyed. Greatest gain in mean confidence score was seen in managing on-treatment patients (+1.6), while least gain was seen in discussing timing of next follow-up (+1.0).

Conclusion: This study suggests there is limited exposure to radiation oncology in formal nursing training and that interprofessional educational interventions may improve patient care. A resident-led curriculum was both of interest to nursing staff and well received. Increases in nursing confidence scores were seen across all patient care domains. Future opportunities include quantitative assessment to evaluate information retention and expansion to staff within other oncology disciplines to foster interdisciplinary fund of knowledge.

Author Disclosure: E.M. Chang: None. W. Chin: None. A.T. Dang: None. J.V. Hegde: Employee; Department of Medicine, UCLA. N. Jiang: None. K.A. Sandler: None. T.B. Kaprealian: None. A.U. Kishan: None. S.A. McCloskey: None. M.L. Steinberg: Honoraria; Accuray. N. Shaverdian: None.

Eric Chang, MD

UCLA Radiation Oncology

UCLA: Resident Physician: Employee

Eric Chang, MD is a medical resident physician PGY-4 in the Department of Radiation Oncology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles. He received his MD degree from the University of California, San Francisco in 2015 and BA from Pomona College in 2009.


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