After enjoying a fun-filled Heroes of Hope™ Event the night before, guests of AONN+’s Seventh Annual Navigation & Survivorship Conference were up bright and early for the final day of education and networking.
The morning kicked off with a product theater, Progressing Toward the Prevention of Chemo-Induced Nausea and Vomiting (CINV). The theater was sponsored by Helsinn, and the presenter reviewed the classification of CINV and the history of antiemetics.
The presenter discussed the netupitant and palonosetron (Akynzeo) therapy, which is indicated for nausea and vomiting. She reviewed the safety profile, and discussed the dosing guidelines. The presenter discussed a clinical trial for Akynzeo, and reported no emetic episodes and no rescue medication for patients who received the medication.
Lillie D. Shockney, RN, BS, MAS, Program Director and Co-Founder of AONN+, and Sharon Gentry, RN, MSN, AOCN, CBCN, of the AONN+ Leadership Council, opened the morning with a recap of the prior day’s events and an overview of what was to come.
Crossing the Communication Chasm: Translating Medical Knowledge into Patient-Friendly Content
Following a warm introduction, Deborah Christensen, MSN, RN, OCN, HNB-BC, Oncology Nurse Navigator, Intermountain Southwest Cancer Center at Dixie Regional, took the stage to talk about the various communication challenges that can get in the way of healthcare. Among the most common issue is healthcare literacy, the idea that the patient understands what the provider is talking about or that the best communication channel was used.
For example, Christensen recalled a patient who explained she had “positive lymph nodes,” and thought that was a good outcome. Christensen had a subsequent conversation clarifying what the term meant.
She then provided the audience with several strategies that they can use to foster good communication with patients.
Survivorship Navigator Program
Sarah Cannon’s progressive approach to navigation has led to the addition of a Survivorship Navigation team. During their presentation, JaLisa Boyd, RN, BSN, MS, and Katie Narvarte, LMSW, Sarah Cannon, talked about how other organizations can take steps to add this type of team to their care continuum.
Following an introduction to Sarah Cannon, JaLisa and Katie focused on the steps that should be taken when developing an evidence-based survivorship navigation program. They then shared Sarah Cannon’s experience with developing programs, highlighting the barriers that they faced and ways in which they were overcome. For example, Narvarte talked about how a new support program at one of their satellite facilities started off very well, but by the third month of the program, there was a large decrease in attendance. After asking patients about why they stopped attending, Narvarte learned there was a new construction project on a nearby highway that was causing delays in getting to the medical center, so people stopped attending. They were able to create a workaround, but she explained that sometimes unforeseen circumstances cause barriers.
Keynote: Mindfulness in Medicine
John Inzerillo, MD, Medical Director-Oncology, Marion L. Shepard Cancer Center: VBH, began by stressing the need to take a moment to breathe when you are rushed or thinking too far in the future about things you are dreading. “Mind over matter,” there’s truth in that statement, said Inzerillo. He reviewed some of the benefits of practicing mindfulness, and talked about the biologic components of mindfulness and how they can be beneficial to healing.
He segued into discussing how compassion can help patients. “We all suffer,” so when cancer patients come to appointments, medical providers can help them by simply listening and bringing compassion to patient care, Inzerillo said.
“It’s good to plan, but it’s not good to live in the past or the future,” he stated. He then empowered the audience with strategies such as deep breathing in yoga and meditation that they or their patients could use to practice mindfulness.
Following Inzerillo’s keynote, guests took part in the poster award presentations and lunch before heading to the final session of this year’s conference.
Communicating with Peers and Patients
Everyone has had that situation where a conversation got out of hand because someone was upset. During her presentation, Helen Meldrum, EdD, Associate Professor of Psychology, Program in Health Sciences and Industry, Bentley University, engaged the audience in an entertaining discussion about communicating with an emotionally charged patient and peer. She talked about different scenarios that could arise in the healthcare setting and shared the types of statements that cause a situation to escalate. Improving communication skills can help alleviate stress and improve patient satisfaction.
She also said that research shows that promotions in the healthcare settings occur more frequently for employees who can handle problematic people in the workplace.
Meldrum closed her presentation with tips that the audience can use to prevent or diffuse an emotionally charged conversation.
Following the final presentation, Lillie D. Shockney, RN, BS, MAS, Program Director and Co-Founder of AONN+, then took the stage once again to thank guests, faculty, and sponsors for participating in AONN+’s Seventh Annual Conference and invited everyone to join her for next year’s annual conference at the JW Marriott in Orlando, FL, November 16-20, 2017!