At Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA), patient education nurses are available to assist patients and caregivers throughout treatment.
We believe the more informed you are about your options, the better equipped you will be to choose what is best for you. Our patient education nurses will meet with you and your caregivers to help you understand the specific cancer treatments your oncologist has recommended.
They'll also meet with you prior to your treatment, so you can ask questions and know what to expect during the treatment process. They'll take time to address your concerns and offer suggestions for what you can do to proactively manage potential side effects of treatment.
The Patient Education Department also holds classes for patients and their caregivers.
In addition to receiving information about chemotherapy and other treatments, you can also learn about dealing with diabetes and cancer, port placement and management, and more.
For example, a patient education nurse can meet with you prior to a PEG (feeding tube) placement so you know what to expect, and then again following the procedure to demonstrate further instructions and care.
Patient education nurses also meet with diabetic patients to provide instructions for daily blood glucose checks and self-administration of insulin.
Patients are also encouraged to call and ask questions when they have returned home after treatment.
The patient education team at Eastern
The education team at CTCA at Eastern Regional Medical Center (Eastern) is comprised of specially-trained nurse educators. Shannon Bristow leads the department as Director of Quality, Safety, Risk, and Education.
As education facilitators, the team functions alongside the hospital's clinical departments. Nurse educators work with the individual departments to develop and update training materials. By working directly with those who have the expertise in a particular area, the team is able to provide specialized education.
Bristow says the education team will look at your weight, previous treatment history, and other factors to personalize the information you receive. “When you hand someone the information that a drug company has given you, it doesn’t address the patient’s individual needs, and every patient is different. It’s highly individualized here. We develop our education specifically for our patients and their needs,” says Bristow.
In addition to the education team, the other nurses at Eastern provide education as well. There are over 60 total nurses in the hospital, including inpatient nurses, Intensive Care Unit (ICU) nurse, and outpatient nurses.