The nurse is responsible for the safe and appropriate administration of cancer therapy medications (chemotherapy, biological therapy, targeted therapy and associated supportive medications) in accordance with legislative requirements, national standards and local policy. The nurse is responsible for ensuring the protocol and prescription is reviewed, the patient has received appropriate education and information on therapy and that protocol stated patient assessments are performed prior to administration of therapy.
This section defines responsibilities of the nurse when administering cancer therapy to a patient. It does not include self-administration by the patient.
The nurse forms the last link in the chain of responsible healthcare providers in the provision of cancer therapy and thus offers a final opportunity for detection of error and support of patients before administration of therapy commences.
Guidelines define the role and scope of the nurse when administering cancer chemotherapy, targeted therapy and supportive medications for patients with cancer. The roles, responsibilities and expectations of nurses in the multidisciplinary team should be defined locally and should clarify how each discipline will communicate and work collaboratively with respect to providing cancer therapy.
The nurse is responsible for ensuring:
(Neuss et al, 2017)
- Goldspiel B, Hoffman JM, Griffith NL, Goodin S, DeChristoforo R, Montello CM, et al. ASHP guidelines on preventing medication errors with chemotherapy and biotherapy. Am J Health Syst Pharm 2015 Apr 15;72(8):e6-e35 Abstract available at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25825193.
- Carrington C, Stone L, Koczwara B, Searle C, Siderov J, Stevenson B, et al. The Clinical Oncological Society of Australia (COSA) guidelines for the safe prescribing, dispensing and administration of cancer chemotherapy. Asia Pac J Clin Oncol 2010 Sep;6(3):220-37 Abstract available at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20887505.
- Neuss MN, Gilmore TR, Belderson KM, Billett AL, Conti-Kalchik T, Harvet BE, et al. 2016 Updated American Society of Clinical Oncology/Oncology Nursing Society Chemotherapy Administration Safety Standards, Including Standards for Pediatric Oncology. Oncol Nurs Forum 2017 Jan 6;44(1):31-43 Abstract available at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28067033.