Mental healthcare training needs of oncology nurses in Ireland
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Mental healthcare training needs of oncology nurses in Ireland

Michael Nash Assistant professor, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland

Aim To investigate the self-reported mental healthcare training needs of oncology nurses in Ireland.

Method An exploratory, quantitative descriptive study was undertaken using a cross-sectional questionnaire design.

Results Oncology nurses (n=136) encountered a range of mental health problems in practice. Depression and anxiety were most common, however, severe mental illnesses such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder were also encountered. Respondents reported good knowledge of and confidence working with patients with depression and anxiety, but were less knowledgeable and confident working with those who had schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Knowledge of mental health medication, side effects and interactions with chemotherapy drugs were identified as important training needs.

Conclusion Developing knowledge and skills in mental health will enable oncology nurses to detect problems earlier, intervene appropriately, liaise effectively with colleagues and provide holistic support to patients and families. This may lead to better overall health outcomes. Translating the results of the study into an educational support package for oncology nurses is being explored.

Cancer Nursing Practice. 16, 1, 32-38. doi: 10.7748/cnp.2017.e1348


Peer review

This article had been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software

Conflict of interest

None declared

Received: 25 August 2016

Accepted: 16 November 2016

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