Nursing in the Childhood Cancer Care System
Pediatric oncology nurses perform an integral role in childhood cancer care. As childhood cancer control continues to rapidly evolve toward increasingly complex and personalized treatment and follow-up protocols, the nursing care of children and youth with cancer and survivors is growing more clinically specialized and workload-intensive. Pediatric oncology nurses also function as dedicated members within multidisciplinary teams of health professionals to deliver integrated, family-centred care to children and youth with cancer, their families and survivors.
POGO is committed to engaging in ongoing strategic collaboration with pediatric oncology nurses to plan and optimize childhood cancer care in Ontario. In addition, we partner to co-create tools, resources and professional development opportunities to ensure access to the best care and support for nurses and the children and youth, families and survivors they serve.
About the POGO Pediatric Oncology Nursing Committee
The POGO Pediatric Oncology Nursing Committee (the Committee) is a longstanding advisory body of pediatric oncology nursing professionals working within children’s cancer treatment programs at hospitals throughout Ontario. Together, our Committee members represent a diversity of pediatric oncology nursing subspecialities across the childhood cancer care continuum, from diagnosis and treatment into end-of-life care or survivorship.
By contributing a pediatric oncology nursing perspective, the Committee strategically informs and champions The Childhood Cancer Care Plan: A Roadmap for Ontario 2018-2023, the current long-range plan produced by POGO and our stakeholder partners to strength Ontario’s childhood cancer system.
Related priority actions and deliverables of the Committee include:
- Develop, implement and evaluate evidence-based tools and resources to optimize the nursing care of children and youth with cancer, their families and survivors
- Support the planning and execution of educational and professional development events to benefit pediatric oncology nurses
- Carry out research and knowledge transfer activities in pediatric oncology nursing
For more information about the Committee or to get involved with our work, please contact Denise Mills, Co-Chair, POGO Pediatric Oncology Nursing Committee and POGO Provincial Clinical Lead, Pediatric Oncology Nursing.
Tools and Resources
POGO Nursing Telepractice Guidance Document
Now more than ever, patients and families are seeking virtual care from their healthcare teams. Derived from a comprehensive literature review of current best telepractice standards in pediatric oncology, the POGO Nursing Telepractice Guidance Document for Pediatric Oncology Nurses supports nurses in delivering safe and effective telepractice care to children and youth with cancer and their families.
The document offers symptom assessment and guidance for constipation, diarrhea, chicken pox exposure, nausea and vomiting, fever, mucositis and acute pain. It also covers telepractice communication principles and techniques, call closure, communication challenges and more!
The POGO Nursing Telepractice Guidance Document is subject to ongoing revisions and updates by the POGO Pediatric Oncology Nursing Committee. If you wish to download and save a local copy of this document, we recommend you regularly check the version posted here (www.pogo.ca/nursing) to ensure you have the most up-to-date guidance.
E-learning Training Module:
Learn how the POGO Nursing Telepractice Guidance Document can enhance your nursing care of children with cancer.
POGO Nursing Telepractice Documentation Record (from the Document‘s Appendix):
Video Education for Childhood Cancer Care at Home
Nurses play a critical role in the delivery of patient and family education and rely on access to trusted resources and tools with standardized content that can be individualized to meet the unique needs of each family. Pediatric oncology nurses witness significant family distress at the time a child is first diagnosed with cancer, a time when families must learn an overwhelming amount of new information.
During the early treatment phase, children are predominantly cared for in the outpatient and home setting by their families. This places the burden of responsibility on parents to monitor and manage symptoms and side effects of treatment and recognize and respond to signs of potentially life-threatening toxicities and complications. Providing education to nurses during this time and a sense of doing it well is a vital component of nursing job satisfaction. Nurses must understand what constitutes the delivery of quality education but also have access to effective teaching tools.
POGO Satellite Manual
POGO’s Provincial Pediatric Oncology Satellite Program enables the transfer of select aspects of a child’s cancer care to POGO Satellite Clinics in community hospitals closer to home. The POGO Satellite Manual is a guideline resource for the continuing delivery of POGO’s vision of optimal childhood cancer care, including nursing care, by the eight POGO Satellite Clinics.
Educational and Professional Development Events
For more information about POGO educational events in childhood cancer care, please explore the Education section of our website to view archived presentations and webinars and sign up for our POGO Education Events mailing list. A list of other conferences and professional development opportunities in pediatric hematology/oncology is also available on our All Education Events & Conferences webpage.
Community Placement Opportunities
POGO welcomes nursing students interested in community placements related to pediatric oncology! We offer a mutually enriching opportunity for you to:
- Gain real-world experience through hands-on learning
- Add value to current projects and initiatives of the POGO Nursing Committee and other POGO program areas
- Job-shadow pediatric oncology nurses in our POGO Satellite Clinic, POGO AfterCare Clinic, and POGO Interlink Nursing programs
To learn more about community placement opportunities at POGO, please speak with your program coordinator or contact us. Examples of accomplishments by some of our previous student nurses appear below.