Approximately 80% of children with cancer live in low and mid-income countries, where survival rates are as low as 20%. These dismal outcomes are in sharp contrast with the remarkable improvements in survival noted in children who live in high-income countries. Nurses are crucial to the provision of quality pediatric oncology care, yet many nurses worldwide lack the essential education, support, and resources needed to reach their potential.
In response, baseline global standards for pediatric oncology nursing were published in 2014. The standards outline essential components of a quality nursing program, including safe staffing levels, formalized orientation and ongoing education, acknowledgment of nurses as core team members, available resources for safe care, and policies to drive evidence-based care.
The relationship between country income level, the quality of nursing care and outcomes for children with cancer needs further exploration. This session addresses the theme “Expanding Horizons: Innovative Approaches to Care” by describing the obstacles to quality care faced by pediatric oncology nurses worldwide, discussing how the baseline standards provide a model to identify and address the challenges, and present strategies to promote excellence and professionalism in pediatric oncology worldwide.
The session content will:
- Provide a historical overview of the development of baseline standards for pediatric oncology nurses
- Discuss the results of a recent validated survey created to measure baseline standards for pediatric oncology nursing in low, mid and high-income countries
- Describe how the survey findings will allow for future research related to the effects of nursing standards on patient outcomes, with a goal of impacting health policy decisions related to childhood cancer
- Identify strategies for nurses to partner with pediatric oncology nursing colleagues in resource-limited settings to promote awareness, education, and advocacy
Many nurses from high-income countries are unaware of the challenges encountered by pediatric oncology nurses in resource-limited settings and have a limited understanding of the relationship between quality nursing care and outcomes for children with cancer. Learners at this session will have an increased understanding of obstacles to the delivery of high-quality nursing care and will be able to identify strategies to address the challenges faced by pediatric hematology/oncology nurses in resource-limited settings.
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