Oncology Nursing Society - 30th Annual Congress

Reported by Ann Fonfa

This was the second time I was invited to a nursing meeting. I was only able to drop into the research meeting held in Ft. Lauderdale earlier this year.

This meeting was huge. It had something of interest for every nurse in oncology. For those interested in complementary and alternative therapies (CAM) - the new president - Georgia Decker, told me at a press conference, that she is very interested in CAM issues.

At the press conference we talked about the nursing shortage. It seems at least some of the problem relates to the lack of teachers. Enrollment may even be rising in some areas.

Ms. Decker will definitely encourage a focus in this huge area. Those of us who have been advocating for the integration of CAM into mainstream (conventional) treatments rejoice.

The first day, Thursday, April 28 offered a talk on:A Lion in the House - Lessons from the Pediatric Patients with Cancer. Presenters Debra Heidrich, MSN, RN, CHPH, AOCN (and coordinator of the session), a nursing consultant from West Chester, OH; and Kathy Ruble, RN, MSN, AOCN, CPNP, Coordinator, Long Term Follow-up Program, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD.

There was no mention in the abstract of CAM issues for children yet a recent study at Columbia University, where (Dr. Kara Kelly, co-chair of the Complementary Therapies Committee of the Children's Oncology Group (COG)),is Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, found that 85% of cancer patients are using some form of complementary therapy in addition to their doctor-prescribed treatments, and that only 50% are telling their doctors about it.

Under Construction, June 2005

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