The Interface of Genetics/Genomics and Gyn Oncology Nurse Navigation occurred Friday, April 26, 2013, at the Oncology Nursing Society 38th Annual Congress in Washington, D.C. Carol Cherry, MSN, RN, AOCNS, APNG, from Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Penny Daugherty, RN, MS, OCN, from Northside Hospital, in Atlanta, Georgia, led the discussion.
Cherry and Daugherty touched on the Essential Genetics and Genomic Competencies, which are appropriate for all nurses, as outlined by the American Nurses Association.
Working in oncology, though, we must pay even closer attention to our genetics/genomics competencies as the field continues to expand in relation to cancer prevention, detection, and treatment. The Oncology Nurse Navigator core competencies, which are still in development and were field reviewed in early 2013, contain a related competency to “identify persons for genetic counseling and make appropriate referrals.”
Session leaders asked the group of navigators and gynecological oncology program administrators if we could:
- Draw a 3-generation pedigree using standardized symbols and terminology.
- Identify red flags indicating gynecological oncology patients at risk for a hereditary syndrome.
- Explain where to refer patients for genetic evaluation (within our own healthcare systems and organizations).
- Answer questions about genetic-based treatments affecting our patients.
The subsequent education was not only enlightening but also entertaining. It was clear Cherry and Daugherty are educators at heart because they utilized five teaching strategies throughout their presentation: lecture, audience response system (survey technology), videos, case studies, and even role-playing. I was quite impressed with the session.
What about you? Can you answer their initial questions? If not, you should listen to the session audio recording once available. If you attended this session, what did you take away from it?