Radiation SIG Communique

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					February 2006

Dear Radiation (RAD) SIG Members:

Happy New Year everyone! I don’t know about you all, but I found 2005 to be very
difficult and am happy a new year has begun. Best wishes to you all for a happy and
healthy 2006!

Congress is coming soon and this year there are a few changes in format. The SIG
meetings are being held on 2 nights instead of 1, making it possible for those of you with
several SIG memberships to attend several meetings. The Radiation SIG meeting will be
on Friday, May 5, 2006 from 4:30-6:30 pm. Check your Congress syllabus for meeting

Value added to the radiation oncology profession: “RONEE” (Radiation Oncology Nurse
Enhancing Excellence) Educational resource.
(By Marilyn L. Haas, PhD, RN, CNS, ANP-C)

The Radiation Special Interest Group was chartered in August 1989 and the first formal
SIG meeting was held in Washington D.C in 1990 with approximately 171 members.
Today the membership is still growing and now has over 900 members. Dedicated
members have worked and published in the Radiation SIG newsletter, "The Boost",
published numerous articles in Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing and ONS Forum,
and released the third edition of the Manual for Radiation Oncology Nursing Practice and
Education last year. However, the thirst for more education and clinical resources did not
stop there. In 2002, several members of the RAD SIG felt there should be more resources
available to orient and train oncology nurses to the field of radiation oncology nursing
and provide some standardization through evidence-based practice. After a long process,
in 2004 the RAD SIG received ONS Board approval to develop such an educational
program recognizing that radiation oncology nurses need their own nursing training to
develop their knowledge base, critical thinking skills, and astute nursing assessment skills
to manage patient care.

Radiation Oncology Nurse Enhancing Excellence (RONEE) is a comprehensive, in-
depth, self-learning computerized program that teaches novice and advanced radiation
oncology nurses about the management of patients requiring radiation therapy.
Developed by expert radiation oncology nurses within the ONS RAD SIG, these
presentations explain different malignant and non-malignant tumors, plus special
modules relating to radiobiology, pediatrics, radiopharmaceuticals, and radioprotectants.
Instructional components contain consultation, work up, and staging information, the
process of simulation, treatment planning, nursing interventions is presented, along with
discharge and long-term follow-up guidelines. Utilizing an evidence-based approach to
care, radiation oncology nurses will acquire the nursing knowledge and skills to care for
patients undergoing radiation therapy. Radiation oncology nurses who wish to have a
specialized unique radiation oncology training program can learning at their own pace
and deepen their knowledge foundation through RONEE.

This project was envisioned and directed by myself, Marilyn L. Haas, PhD, RN, CNS,
ANP-C, along with seven expert radiation oncology nurses, who developed and shared
their time and expertise to further the professionalism of radiation oncology nurses.
Nurses will learn specific content on the following topics:
RT basics and pediatrics                  Joni Dunn, RN, MN, AOCN®, CNS
                                          & Maurene McQuestion, RN, BA, BScN, MSc(c),
CNS                                       Maurene McQuestion, RN, BA, BScN, MSc(c), CON(c)
Head and Neck                             Elise Carper, RN, MA, APRN-BC, AOCN®
Chest                                     Marilyn Haas PhD, RN, CNS, ANP-C
Breast and Pancreas                       Tracey Gosselin-Acomb, RN, MSN, AOCN®
Female pelvic and urologic                Donna Green, RN, BSN, BA, OCN®
Male pelvic and                           William Hogle, RN, MSN, OCN®
Extremities, benign disease,              Kathleen Bell, RN, MSN, OCN®
radiosensitizers and radioprotectants

RONEE will be released and available for sale at the 2006 Congress in Boston.

Workgroup Update
There are many exciting new workgroups being formed. Our dynamic SIG Ex-Officio,
Dr. Marilyn Haas, has done the preparatory work for a workgroup to focus on legislative
issues important to radiation oncology nurses. Marilyn will serve as a member of the
group but we need a leader. If you are interested in working on legislative issues, either
as the leader or a member of the workgroup, please contact me at ecarper@chpnet.org.

Another workgroup getting started is one on defining standards and competencies for
radiation oncology nurses. This group grew out of the work Marilyn and others did last
year defining the scope of practice for radiation oncology nurses. Maurene McQuestion
and Marilyn are heading up this group. Again, interested SIG members are welcome!
Please contact Maurene at maurene.mcquestion@rmp.uhn.on.ca.

The mentorship workgroup is firming up under the leadership of Joni Dunn.
Development of mentors for nurses new to oncology is an ONS priority. Joni and her
group are developing a mentorship program specifically designed for new radiation
nurses. To help Joni out, please contact her at Joni.Dunn@uch.edu.
As I discussed in recent Boost issues, I’d like to form a group to look at some of the
management level issues in radiation oncology. One thought is to work on developing a
tool to measure radiation patient acuity and patient care needs. Another is to look at
the various nursing roles (RN, CNS, and NP) and develop an understanding on how to
determine which roles “fit” best for which types of departments. Some of you have
already emailed me with your interest in working on this group. My plan is to get this
group up and running right after Congress. There is lots of room for more volunteers!
Please contact me if you are interested in joining this workgroup at ecarper@chpnet.org.

Other ONS news:
The ONS Media Response Team Wants You!
The ONS Media Response Team (MRT) is going to work hard to make sure that
oncology nurses are represented in the media. ONS is looking for nurses who are experts
in their subject areas and are willing to respond to media inquiries within 24 hours. MRT
participants will be published in a directory that will be sent to oncology trade journalists
and key media representatives. MRT members will receive a quarterly newsletter
offering tips and techniques on how to effectively work with the media. For more
information, please e-mail Karen Hochberg, ONS public relations manager, at
Download the MRT application at http://www.ons.org/media/pdf/mrtApp.pdf.

Finally, some ideas for getting involved in the RT SIG:
   1. Write an article for The BOOST newsletter. You all have different experiences
        and different areas of expertise. Please share what you know, especially clinical
        pearls. Contact editors:
        Mary Ellen Witt at mwitt@radonc.uchicago.edu or Maurene McQuestion at
   2. Take the RT Trainer course and then teach the oncology nurses in your hospital
        about radiation. This is a great way to forge strong bonds between you and the
        other nurses as well as improve understanding by other hospital departments on
        what goes on “in the basement”.
   3. Register and use the RAD Virtual Community including the RAD discussion
   4. Keep your membership in ONS and the Radiation SIG current. Encourage
        coworkers to join as well.
   5. Contact me with suggestions for how the SIG could be more helpful to you.

Thanks, and be well,
Elise Carper, Coordinator
Radiation SIG

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