Closing the Gap, Bridging the Divide: How to Effectively Teach Patients and Families


Presentation Description:
A diagnosis of cancer is emotionally distressing news to process for a newly diagnosed pediatric oncology patient and their family. There is an enormous amount of information that these families require to learn about their child’s diagnosis, side effects and treatment.  According to APHON’s Scope and Standards of Practice, educating patients and families about the child’s treatment, side effects, symptom management, care at home, and the family’s readiness and preferred method of learning are essential elements of the pediatric hematology/oncology nurse (2009). Pediatric oncology nurses often do not have formal training on how to educate families. Since nurses provide a large portion of education, it is imperative to have the knowledge and skills required to facilitate this transfer of knowledge. The understanding of health literacy and clear communication are foundational principles for patient and family education.

The presentation will provide educational tools focused on improving the nurse’s content and delivery of information and ability to facilitate client-centered learning, when teaching newly diagnosed pediatric oncology patients and families.

Stephanie Cox
, RN(EC), MN, NP Pediatrics
Nurse Practitioner

Stephanie Cox has been practicing at McMaster Children’s Hospital as a nurse practitioner in pediatric hematology/oncology since 2004. She received her Master’s of Nursing and Acute Care Nurse Practitioner-Pediatrics degree from the University of Toronto in 2004 and her Bachelor Science in Nursing from the University of British Columbia in 2000. Her clinical and research interests include the care of adolescents and young adults with cancer and the supportive care aspects of pediatric oncology therapy. Stephanie currently is the Disease Committee Nurse for the Myeloid Committee at the Children’s Oncology Group. In addition, her most recent focus has been developing and implementing improved educational strategies for pediatric oncology patients and their families.

Angela Filice, RN, BA, BScn, CPHON
Quality and Safety Nurse

Angela Filice earned her bachelor of arts in psychology at the University of Western Ontario in 2000 and went on to complete her bachelor of science in nursing at McMaster University. She has worked in the inpatient pediatric hematology/oncology unit for the past twelve years.

In 2016, she was awarded an Advanced Clinical Practice Fellowship with the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario entitled “educational strategies to improve content and delivery of education by pediatric oncology nurses to families of pediatric patients that are newly diagnosed with cancer.” She has delivered several nursing workshops on improving delivery of patient education.

Angela has been in the Quality and Safety nurse position for the past year where she works on quality improvement projects and safety initiatives.

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