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Nursing Initiative

  • nurse from Rwanda and a nurse from Dana-Farber

  • Building Cancer Care Capacity One Nurse at a Time

    An educated and skilled nursing workforce is essential to providing comprehensive and safe cancer care in low-resource settings. Dana-Farber Cancer Institute's Center for Global Cancer Medicine (CGCM) has been training local oncology nurses in both Rwanda and Haiti since 2012.

    Our nursing initiatives focus on:

    • Safe chemotherapy administration: Dose calculation, chemotherapy preparation and handling, patient identification, assessment and observation during chemotherapy administration, and safe disposal of chemotherapy waste.
    • Patient and family education: Comprehensive education regarding cancer, cancer treatment (chemotherapy and surgery), side-effects, and side-effect management.
    • Quality improvement initiatives: Assessment and evaluation of current practices to continuously improve upon our care delivery model.
    • Oncology Nursing Orientation and Training course: This comprehensive oncology nursing course includes teaching material presented in both English and French and covers topics from across the cancer continuum of care.

    Our Oncology Nurse Educator Program is a critical component of CGCM's efforts to build cancer care capacity in low-income countries. We place U.S.-trained, experienced oncology nurses in-country to work alongside our nurse colleagues in Haiti and Rwanda to provide on-the-ground mentorship and education. To develop local expertise, we strive to identify in-country colleagues who can then serve as in-country trainers. Such training helps to ensure sustainability and self-reliance for future generations of oncology nurse experts.

    Sharing Our Work

    Our nursing team has presented its work at several international conferences. Poster and podium presentations have documented our experience with our oncology nurse educator/twinning model, quality improvement initiatives, as well as the development and implementation of our oncology nursing training courses. We support opportunities for our Rwandan and Haitian nurse colleagues to present their work at national and international forums.

  • Wilms tumor nurse navigator with a patient and mother

    With support from Sanofi Espoir Foundation, CGCM established a pediatric patient navigator program in Rwanda for Wilms tumor, a common pediatric cancer. A trained nurse navigator uses an illustrated, culturally appropriate patient education booklet developed with the in-country nursing team to guide caregivers through diagnosis and treatment.