Exploring the role and expertise of ward-based oncology clinicians
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Exploring the role and expertise of ward-based oncology clinicians

Jennifer Spears Senior clinical practice facilitator, oncology, University College London Hospitals (UCLH) NHS Foundation Trust, London
Loretta Bellman Independent consultant, nursing and health care, formerly senior nurse, research and development, UCLH NHS Foundation Trust, London

A study to encourage specialist band 6 nurses to engage with research used observation and interviews to gain a deeper understanding of their roles and to highlight areas for improvement. Jennifer Spears and Loretta Bellman report

Aim The aim of this study was to involve ward-based band 6 oncology nurses with the research process and subsequently explore their role and clinical working practices.

Method During an in-house oncology development day, band 6 nurses were involved in putting together a proposal that developed into a research study, using case study methodology to observe and understand their role.

Findings Seven themes were extracted from the data, demonstrating the working experience of band 6 nurses, which were: demonstrates specialist knowledge and assessment skills; performs clinical/practical tasks; students and mentorship; communication/interpersonal skills with patients, carers and relatives; leadership/ management and co-ordination of ward; relationships with colleagues/staff wellbeing; and finding/searching for things.

Conclusion The findings have enabled a better understanding of the band 6 nurse and revealed the role’s complexity. Areas for improvement and development have been highlighted, which can benefit patients and quality of care. This article shows how ward-based oncology nurses can become involved with the research process.

Cancer Nursing Practice. 10, 1,24-29. doi: 10.7748/cnp2011.

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