Patient Education --- The Clinical Nurse Specialist
Being diagnosed with cancer can be extremely overwhelming. The Cancer Center of Acadiana’s Interdisciplinary Support Team approach is unique to the Acadiana region and an important part of the Center’s goal of providing the highest level of holistic cancer care. An important component of the cancer journey is patients being fully informed and educated as to what to expect during their cancer treatment journey.
A Clinical Nurse Specialist, which is an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse, provides comprehensive information related to the cancer journey. After the initial visit with the Oncologist and prior to beginning treatment, an education session is scheduled with the Clinical Nurse Specialist. The patient, family members and significant others are encouraged to attend the education session, where written and verbal information is discussed to customize each patient’s treatment regimen. The patient is given a notebook containing contact information for the Center, and a way to organize information including a system to keep track of appointments, treatment regimens, medications, medical records and more.
Information regarding diagnosis, treatment schedules, potential side effects or problems that may result from treatment and how to manage side effects are also discussed. The session instructs the patient how to take care of him/herself before, during and after treatment. Once all questions and concerns are answered, the patient and family meet with other support team members to learn about other services available at the center.