Assessing Nurse Practitioner Preparedness When Caring for Childhood Cancer Survivors
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractBackground: The rate of childhood cancer survivors has grown to nearly 80% in the past few decades. Current evidence reveals that primary care providers report feeling unprepared with inadequate knowledge about the variable types of late effects and diagnostic screenings recommended for childhood cancer survivors (Dulko et al., 2013; Potosky et al., 2011). However, the current evidence reflects data mainly from physicians. None of the current literature addresses the specific preparedness of primary care nurse practitioners. Such data would be helpful in better understanding how education and current resources affect nurse practitioner preparedness for such a narrow, but growingly prevalent, patient population.Purpose: To assess primary care nurse practitioner preparedness when caring for childhood cancer survivors.Methods: This descriptive study obtained data using a survey disseminated to primary care nurse practitioner members of the Puget Sound Nurse Practitioner Association in Seattle, WA. Analysis was conducted by calculating the means and modes for each survey item. Results: This sample (n=5) revealed that 50% of nurse practitioners identify as feeling adequately trained to care for childhood cancer survivors. Time and insurance coverage were not found to be barriers to care. Less than 50% of nurse practitioners utilized guidelines from the Children’s Oncology Group. The most wanted resources included the Children’s Oncology Group guidelines, survivor care plans, and electronic health record prompts. Discussion: According to the results of this study imply that nurse practitioners in the Seattle area feel adequately prepared to care for childhood cancer survivors. In addition, nurse practitioners identify that clinical practice guidelines may be beneficial in guiding their care. However, certain limitations, including small sample size, may affect the trustworthiness of the results. Thus, more research is warranted to gather more comprehensive knowledge and understanding regarding nurse practitioner preparedness when caring for childhood cancer survivors in the primary care setting.