General Session: International Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Nursing Initiatives: Challenges and Opportunities (102)

8:30 – 9:45 am Friday, August 18

1CH  Since 1975, high-income countries (HIC) have made great strides in developing effective therapies to cure children and adolescents with cancer and enhance quality of life. Unfortunately, this success is not mirrored in low- and middle-income countries (L&MIC), where approximately 80% of the world’s children with cancer live. To address this serious inequity, international collaborations (often referred to as “twinning partnerships”) between organizations and professionals in HIC and their counterparts in L&MIC have been underway since the late 1980s.

Though HIC nurses have much to share with their nursing partners, we can learn equally as much from nurses who practice in limited resource settings. Nurses in L&MIC often have limited access to oncology education and specialization, adequate staffing and skill mix, and safety materials and equipment required for optimal patient care and bear the burden of caring for children who present in late stages of disease. Expert international nursing collaborators and APHON International Task Force members who have helped bring the chemotherapy-biotherapy course to Latin America and who are actively involved in global nursing initiatives will present with two L&MIC nurses in twinning partnerships. This general session describes pediatric hematology/oncology nursing practices beyond North American borders. Learning about the history of international pediatric hematology/oncology nursing and current practices, innovative global partnerships in pediatric hematology/oncology nursing projects, and challenges and opportunities will educate the learners about the wide range of nursing scope of practice in other settings. Attendees will have new knowledge to apply in their practice when caring for children, adolescents, and their families who have cultural beliefs and practices that are different from mainstream North American ones. We intend to expand the learners’ knowledge of international pediatric hematology/oncology nursing strategies to achieve improved practice in their home settings.