“Excellence in oncology nursing is about demonstrating a high level of compassion, empathy and pediatric oncology specialty expertise in caring for kids with cancer and their families. Nurses incorporate evidence-based literature and research in our clinical practice, and we are excellent resources to allied health teams and the field of pediatric oncology. We advocate for resources to meet the challenging needs of kids with cancer, families, pediatric oncology nursing and the childhood cancer care system.”
Data Drives Practice
These days, my work at SickKids overlaps with my data management role at POGO. In both organizations, I lead teams responsible for capturing data in our POGONIS database. This data—clinical information that includes specifics about children’s diagnosis, treatment, complications and long-term outcomes—is used by POGO and our system partners for cancer surveillance, research, decision-making, system and program planning and evaluation, and policy advice.
Her Passion for Her Patients and Work as a Pediatric Oncology Nurse
My early career was devoted to working on the frontlines and in doing so, I always strived to provide compassionate care to kids with cancer. While it’s hard to choose, I would say that one of the most rewarding things was finding time in my day to play with a child and distract them from the complex cancer treatment I still had to provide. Every day brought a new set of challenges and however a child’s story played out, my only hope was that I had made a positive difference in their life and their family’s.
POGO Values Pediatric Oncology Nurses
I have had the pleasure of helping POGO support pediatric oncology nurses in making valuable contributions to the pediatric oncology community. I am the staff representative on the POGO Nursing Committee and have worked with Committee members on such special projects as POGO guidance documents about telephone practices (telepractice) and the safe handling of antineoplastic agents. The Committee has also had the opportunity to contribute to publications, abstracts, presentations at conferences of health organizations like the Association of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Nurses (APHON), The International Society of Pediatric Oncology (SIOP), and POGO education events like AfterCare Education Day, the Annual Multidisciplinary Symposium on Childhood Cancer and Nursing Pre-Symposia education events. Through POGO, pediatric oncology nurses also have the opportunity to advocate on a policy level, and in the past actively supported POGO’s recommendation of the nurse coordinator position and acquisition of the Interlink Nursing program. POGO also proactively seeks preceptorships with nursing student placements at the POGO office and with the POGO Interlink Nurses at their hospitals.
Other Career Achievements of which Bruna is Most Proud
This is another difficult question as I have had many wonderful opportunities to support novice pediatric oncology nurses, as well as data managers and researchers. I hope I have helped empower others to provide excellent clinical care. And, in collaborating with researchers using POGONIS data for epidemiological research and data analysis, I hope I have adequately supported their policy planning and program development goals for pediatric oncology, and inspired them to collect accurate provincial population data for these needs.
Bruna DiMonte, RN, BScN, has been a pediatric nurse for 36 years and has spent 28 of those working double duty at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) in Toronto and with POGO as the Senior Database Administrator and Privacy Officer