Year of Publication

2015

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Committee Chair

Dr. Karen Stefaniak

Clinical Mentor

Dr. Sherry Bayliff

Committee Member

Dr. Leslie Scott

Abstract

The introduction of chemotherapy in pediatric oncology tremendously impacted the survival of children with cancer. In the past 60 years, the survival rates of children with cancer have drastically improved with 5-year survival rates of the most common types of childhood cancer nearing 90%. Use of chemotherapeutic agents is not without risk as they are administered in a variety of routes and doses. Disturbingly high error rate ranging from 4% to 18%, depending upon the administration setting (inpatient or outpatient) are reported in the literature (Watts & Parsons, 2013).

Chemotherapy errors have the potential to be lethal because of a low therapeutic index and the lack of an antidote to reverse potential toxicities associated with chemotherapy errors. Guidelines for safe administration of chemotherapy have been published by the Oncology Nursing Society and the American Society of Health-Systems Pharmacists; however, the Association of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology Nurses (APHON) recognized the need for tailored guidelines for the pediatric oncology patient population. In 2004, APHON introduced the Pediatric Chemotherapy and Biotherapy Provider Program with the goal of giving nurses the knowledge needed to safely and consistently administer chemotherapy and biotherapy. Since its inception, the APHON chemotherapy and biotherapy program has become the national standard for teaching nurses how to administer chemotherapy and biotherapy to children and adolescents (Kline, 2007).

The overall purpose of this practice inquiry project is to assess knowledge, beliefs and the impact nursing has had on chemotherapy/biotherapy administration one year post implementation of the APHON Chemotherapy/Biotherapy Provider Program in a children’s hospital located within a large medical teaching facility.

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