From the very word, chemotherapy, we can say that these nurses deal with cancer patients who are undergoing chemotherapy. But to be specific, what are their duties and responsibilities, what is their job description?
Duties and responsibilities
A chemotherapy nurse works with the oncologist to develop treatment plans and helps the patient manage her treatment process. Also, he/she along with the oncologist administers chemotherapy treatments to cancer patients. Apart from this, they also have the responsibility to offer the patient information and instruction on the chemotherapy process, as well as provide them medications and remedies for any potential chemotherapy side effects. Furthermore, they provide educational resources and information on preventing cancer in the future and keep detailed patient records.
To become a chemotherapy nurse, one must pursue specialized training after earning a bachelor’s or associate degree in nursing. Often times, chemotherapy nurses undergo further training to become an oncology nurse and help patients with all aspects of the cancer treatment process.
For those nurses who are interested in working in chemotherapy, may find training from different sources, including hospitals and medical centers.
A chemotherapy nurse can take his/her training and education even further by obtaining certification as an oncology nurse from the Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation. While obtaining Certification is not required by all employers, it gives the nurse legitimacy in the field and additional training. The certification process requires the nurse to practice as a Registered Nurse for at least one year, log at least 1,000 hours in an oncology unit as an RN and pass the ONCC certification exam. Interested applicants for certification must also complete at least 10 hours of continuing education nursing classes or academic electives in oncology.
The average salary for a chemotherapy and oncology nurse approximately, ranges between $44,000 and $57,000 annually. The starting salary for a chemotherapy nurse approximately starts at $35,000 a year, while experienced chemotherapy and oncology nurses can earn between $60,000 and $125,000 per year.