Meeting Abstract

JL505. Coping Strategies of Hematology/Oncology Nurse Practitioners

Laura Bourdeanu, PhD, Excelsior College, Albany, New York, Shiyun Mai, MS, George Washington University, Washington, DC, and Arlene Pericak, MS, DA, FNP-C, FAANP, George Washington University, Washington, DC

© 2018 Harborside™



Abstracts From 
JADPRO Live at APSHO 2017
Marriott Marquis, Houston, Texas • November 2–5, 2017

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Background: Providing care to hematology or oncology patients often requires dramatic shifts in attitudes and therapeutic interventions, as patients frequently transition from treatment to palliative care to hospice end-of-life care. NPs are routinely involved in implementing these changes in therapeutic goals, which requires a conscious move from the “cure” mode to that of recognizing death’s inevitability and providing comfort care. The purpose of this study is to explore the coping experiences of hematology/oncology NPs.

Methods. Design: Quantitative, descriptive cross sectional. Sample: Hematology/oncology nurse practitioners currently employed in the clinical setting. Instruments: Demographic characteristics, Gupsta’s Coping Skills Questionnaire.

Procedure: NPs identified from Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) were contacted via email. The email included the introductory letter, the link to the survey, and a statement asking the nurse practitioners to forward the letter to their colleagues.

Results: A total of 201 hematology/oncology NPs participated in the study; of these, 8 were eliminated from the analysis due to retirement or not currently working. The age of the participants ranged from 28 to 70 years (median 50 years). The sample was predominantly female (98%), married (72.5%), and participants had an MSN as a terminal degree (85%). The most common coping skills included “Maintain sense of control over work responsibilities” (99.5%), “Maintain sense of humor” (97.9%), “Maintain balance between professional and personal lives” (97.9%), and “Spend time with spouse/partner/family” (97.9%). Interestingly, 41.5% reported “Change practice specialty” as a way of coping with the job stressors. There was no significant difference in the coping skills in regard to age, education level, marital status, type of institution, and population served.

Conclusions: Hematology/oncology NPs use a variety of coping strategies, including maintaining a sense of control over work responsibilities, humor, maintaining balance between professional and personal lives to cope with patients’ transitions in treatment and/or care. Recommendations: Although hematology/oncology NPs are dynamic and resourceful when responding to challenging cancer patient care situations, collaboration between the NPs and support within their institution is essential in order to provide continuous coping assistance.

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