Becoming Chemo Certified

December 8, 2017

Happy holidays friends!

I know this little part of me has really fallen off of planet earth, but I am really going to make an effort in 2018 to revive it! Having nursing students at work makes me miss being able to share my stories and hopefully help a lot of you along your own journeys. I am going to be reaching out to my nurse managers to hopefully get my name on the list to start precepting students at work and eventually the new grads.

So to start to catch everyone up, I recently finished my chemotherapy administration course. The course is officially run by the Oncology Nursing Society as a self-paced online study. I cannot speak for other hospitals, but my hospital than follows it up with on the job training and skills check off on a multitude of chemotherapy before I can administer individually. 

The course itself was not very challenging and I think it really lacks information. The course is set up with 15 or so mini-lectures followed by a 60 question multiple choice test. My challenge with the course was the actual lessons themselves. I found that the lectures did not have a lot of information in them and I was left scrolling through the e-book in attempts to find any information about what they were remotely talking about. The only well-written lecture was the first one that broke cancer down to the cellular level.  

Now that I have successfully passed the test, I am frightened to administer chemotherapy safely because I did not actually learn anything about these hazardous drugs. I know there are a lot of policies and procedures already in place to protect me during administration, but I do not want to assume that others are doing their job correctly. Critical thinking is a large part of being a nurse and I want to always keep my mind alert. 

What were your experiences like with the course? Any suggestions or need to know when administering chemotherapy?

1 comment

  1. Where I work we have to take a chemo/biotherapy safty administration class through the hospital to give chemo first but as part of out safty checks that are done independently by 2 nurses one of them has to have the ons chemo certification so that’s a little different and we’re expected to take it after 6 month on the floor so that’s a little different than you. When I took the ons course I didn’t really find it that helpful but wht helped me learn the most is I bought a paper copy of the book off amazon and then every time I had to give a new drug or regime I would look it all up there and then you really start to connect the dots. It definitely takes some time but you will start to see the same stuff over and over again as many drugs are given for several different diagnosis. Good luck though, onc was my first job too and the community of oncology nurses are amazing and always have each other’s backs


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