Clinical trials dominate the therapeutic approaches used in pediatric oncology with the majority of pediatric oncology patients receiving treatment on medical research protocols. These protocols detail the medical treatment that enrolled patients will receive. Nursing care is not described in these documents. However, nursing care must complement the medical care as written in the medical research protocol. Administering treatments safely, assessing treatment responses, educating patients and families, and communicating with the entire health care team are some of the essential nursing responsibilities that must be carefully orchestrated. Nursing care guidelines, as described here, were created to provide the careful balance between the medical research protocol and associated nursing care. These guidelines describe the nursing actions and considerations involved in caring for pediatric oncology patients enrolled on a particular medical research protocol. The purpose of this article is to describe the process used to create and evaluate nursing care guidelines.
Copyright 2002 by Association of Pediatric Oncology Nurses