At Sentara, nurses demonstrate commitment and specialized knowledge in cancer patient care. Current knowledge of new treatments and procedures is obtained by attending oncology educational programs offered internally as well as externally by professional organizations.
The nurses of the cancer program place a strong emphasis on patient, family and community education.
In addition, many seek certification through the Oncology Nursing Society. Oncology certification enhances professional practice and patient care. Certification validates an oncology nurse’s knowledge and skills while increasing self-confidence.
In turn, patients recognize that oncology is diverse and challenging, requiring highly knowledgeable, autonomous, responsible and motivated nurses. A patient’s level of trust and confidence in their nurse’s ability to care for them is essential to their treatment plan and outcome.
The Cancer Registry Department plays an important role in maintaining cancer data. The department monitors trends in incidence and mortality rate as well as evaluates prevention and control measures.
The Cancer Registry Department provides local data to many state and national agencies such as the National Cancer Institute, the American Cancer Society, and the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries, for the purpose of generating national cancer statistics.
Other functions include serving as an educational and data resource for physicians and institutions, stimulating research into all aspects of cancer treated at Sentara and promoting state-of-the-art cancer diagnosis and treatment.
Physical, Speech and Occupational Therapists
The physical, speech and occupational therapists that staff Sentara Therapy Services have special expertise in the care of patients with cancer. They work hard to provide therapy to both inpatients and outpatients and to improve patients' sense of well being during and after treatment.
Through therapeutic exercise, neuromuscular training, patient and family education, and pulmonary rehabilitation, our therapists help patients decrease the burden of disease and its treatment and their highest level of functional independence.
Radiation therapists play an important role on the Sentara cancer care team. Working with a radiation oncologist, they help to develop a patient’s treatment plan, explain the plan to the patient, answer questions and administer the radiation using the appropriate equipment.
Community educators plan numerous seminars and events to help educate the public on the importance of prevention and early detection. They also plan and conduct screenings to aid in early diagnosis.
Case managers review the needs of each patient and refer social issues and complicated discharge needs to a social worker, discharge planner or other Sentara Cancer Network or community resource.
Since nutrition is such an important part of the cancer patient’s care, registered dieticians are available at a number of our sites and in our hospitals for patients who are at risk. Cancer patients who stay well-nourished during their treatment period are better able to withstand the side effects of the treatment, whether it be chemotherapy, radiation, immunotherapy or surgery. The nutrition staff has a variety of teaching materials to offer cancer patients eating tips and recipes for better nutrition during cancer treatment.
Infusion specialists are trained personnel who assist in delivering medicines, equipment and nursing services to people who need intravenous (IV) fluids, nutrition, or treatments.
Home Care & Hospice Nurses and Staff
Sentara Home Care Services and Sentara Hospice offers an innovative and progressive range of services to patients and families who choose to receive medical/nursing care in the safe, nurturing confines of their home.
Palliative Care Specialists
At Sentara, cancer patients and their families may request and benefit from a special program of support called palliative care. Palliative care is given to improve the quality of life for patients who have a life-threatening disease.
Palliative care is used to treat disease symptoms, side effects caused by treatment, and psychological, social, and spiritual problems related to the disease. It is also called comfort care, supportive care and symptom management.
For more information about cancer care at Sentara, call 888-220-2214. This toll-free number is your link to cancer education, physician referral, support groups and all other cancer inquiries.