Bayhealth Medical Center
Last year, the Bayhealth Cancer Centers at Milford Memorial and Kent General delivered over 64,000 cancer procedures, providing exceptional care to the cancer patients in our communities. Oncology patients at Bayhealth have access to a wide range of top-notch resources, the greatest of which is an experienced staff of caregivers trained in cancer care.
This month, Bayhealth recognized the specialized service and compassionate care that the oncology nurses provide to their patients, guiding and supporting them from initial diagnosis through treatment and well into survivorship. Many of the nurses hold certifications in the oncology area, requiring testing and experience in this clinical field. The national certification involves education on topics such as disease detection, survivorship, treatment, symptom management, and community resources.
An oncology patient at Bayhealth progresses along a treatment path guided by nurses in several roles. Office nurses review a patient’s medical history and needs upon arrival and then prepare the information for the physician. Every patient meets with a specially-trained nurse called a Cancer Nurse Navigator, who provides guidance and support throughout a patient’s cancer journey.
A Cancer Nurse Navigator assesses the patient from a holistic perspective. In addition to the unique details in a patient’s medical record, many other factors play a role in the course of treatment: access to transportation; financial circumstances; support system of family and/or friends; and connection to community resources. Cancer Nurse Navigators follow patients from diagnosis through treatment and into post-treatment care to make sure that all needs are being met. Patient needs may evolve during and after treatment, and the navigators monitor the big picture to ensure a smooth path forward.
Depending on the patient’s course of treatment, an Infusion Nurse or Radiation Nurse may be part of the team. Infusion Nurses administer chemotherapy drugs; both types of nurses assess and manage symptoms, and oversee the patient’s scheduled visits.
Nurses new to Bayhealth Oncology must undergo 3-4 months of one-on-one supervised training that orients them to the special needs of Oncology patients. Bayhealth also counts two Certified Breast Care Nurses among its staff. These nurses have met all eligibility and testing requirements in the area of Breast Care, including topics such as breast health, risk assessment, diagnosis, psychosocial and spiritual care, and treatment options. The team includes a Certified Oncology Nurse Practitioner, as well.
Throughout the year, Bayhealth Oncology nurses connect with our local communities through events like free screenings including colorectal, skin, and prostate. Free mammograms are offered in Smyrna, Middletown, Dover, and Milford each month. Oncology nurses will participate in the Relay for Life events this spring, as well as in Georgetown’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer. To learn more about the Bayhealth Cancer Centers, visit bayhealth.org.