Nurse Faculty Beliefs and Teaching Practices for the Care of the Cancer Survivor in Undergraduate Nursing Curricula

Mary E Dietmann
Journal of Cancer Education: the Official Journal of the American Association for Cancer Education 2017, 32 (4): 764-770
As the number of individuals surviving cancer continues to rise, short- and long-term effects of cancer and its treatment that result in physical, psychosocial, and spiritual needs unique to the care of the cancer survivor has not been addressed in nursing curricula. The Institute of Medicine (IOM, 2005) recommends that all health care providers are educated on the care of cancer survivors. This descriptive qualitative study explored faculty beliefs and practices regarding the inclusion of caring for the cancer survivor in undergraduate nursing curricula. Faculty knowledge of the term "cancer survivor" and their beliefs and practices regarding the placement of theory and clinical experiences on cancer survivorship were explored through face-to-face semi-structured interviews. Qualitative content analysis revealed themes and patterns related to the barriers and facilitators for disseminating information on the gap in content on care of the cancer survivor. Seven themes emerged from the content analysis of the interviews. These were as follows: (1) descriptions of cancer survivorship; (2) beliefs on inclusion of cancer survivorship care within undergraduate nursing curriculum; (3) established content on cancer survivorship care: teaching practices; (4) gaps in content on cancer survivorship care; (5) lack of supportive literature on cancer survivorship care; (6) clinical sites providing opportunities for cancer survivorship care: planned versus unplanned; and (7) barriers and facilitators to the inclusion of cancer survivorship in undergraduate nursing curricula. This study reveals the need for faculty education on the care of cancer survivors and a revision of undergraduate curriculum content.

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