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Oncol Nurs Forum. 1996 Sep;23(8):1297-304.

The oncology nursing image: lifting the mist.

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1
University of Colorado (UC) Cancer Center, Denver, USA.

Abstract

PURPOSE/OBJECTIVES:

To examine oncology nurses' perceptions of their professional image and describe implications and strategies for practice.

DATA SOURCES:

Individuals in 28 Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) image focus groups and 13 validation focus groups in local ONS chapters throughout the United States.

DATA SYNTHESIS:

Although they used both negative and positive descriptors, participants believed the primary perceptions of physicians, administrators, and other nurses regarding oncology nurses were negative, whereas the perceptions of patients and families generally were more positive. Participants believed a lack of understanding exists about oncology nurses, their duties, and the impact of their specialized skills and knowledge on patient-care outcomes. They also believed that the current image of oncology nursing was not one they desired.

CONCLUSIONS:

Oncology nurses were concerned about their image and believed their external publics (e.g., physicians, administrators, nononcology nurses, patients, families) did not have a clear picture of who they are and what they do. They felt this lack of understanding led to diminished relationships with colleagues and patients/families and a lack of recognition of the oncology nurse as a valued member of the healthcare team. Participants felt this image could be changed and identified strategies to achieve their desired image through activities related to research, education, professionalism, communication, and influence.

IMPLICATIONS FOR NURSING PRACTICE:

Understanding the possible barriers to collaborative relationships, cost-effective care, disparate feelings of colleagues and external publics, and negative stereotypes will foster strategies to enhance relationships and improve care.

PMID:
8883074
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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