A registered nurse (RN) who earns the certificate in breast care and therefore, works with the patients who are diagnosed with breast cancer is a Certified Breast Care Nurse.
To get the certificate in breast care, a nurse has to complete specialized training, and prove that he or she has the necessary knowledge of breast health, breast cancer, and all related to the diagnostic, cancer stages, symptoms management, treatment, etc.
The exact duties of a certified breast care nurse depend on the healthcare setting they work.
Commonly, certified breast cancer nurses work in clinics, especially in oncology clinics, and work together with oncology nurses.
Patients diagnosed with cancer receive their treatment on oncology clinics, and breast care nurses are in charge of the treatment of patients with all breast cancer stages.
There are a few stages of breast cancer treatments.
The first one is diagnosis and staging.
The certified breast care nurse works with other healthcare team members to prepare the patients for necessary tests and laboratory work.
A nurse then educates the patient on the final test and assists in the diagnosis and cancer staging.
The next step is treatment.
During this process, the certified breast care nurse helps with scheduling, educating, and supporting breast cancer patients.
The job can include medication management, chemotherapy, or radiation sessions.
A nurse often contacts the patient to monitor the treatment response and side effects and adjusts the treatment according to oncologist collaboration if it’s necessary.
In general, a certified breast care nurse takes care of the patient as long as treatment goes if the patient is in the hospital, and schedule phone calls to check on the patient occasionally.
Next, a certified breast care nurse is there for the patient during symptom management.
He or she is in charge of everything starting with medication management, identifying symptoms, and proposing alternative medicine therapies.
During the whole process, a nurse plays a vital role in helping the patient, and communicating with three sides – patient, treatment team, and oncologists.
A nurse coordinates the treatment making sure that it is in the best patient’s interest.
A breast care nurse also takes care of the patient after identifying remission.
He or she will educate the patient on alarming symptoms and available support.
Also, a nurse can schedule follow-up apportionments and check-ups to make sure everything is going to the best outcome.
Lastly, a nurse plays an important role when a patient decides to end the treatment.
In that case, a nurse focuses on comfort care and collaborate with other team members, making sure that the rest of the time is as comfortable for the patient as it can be.
A nurse’s role is to improve the life quality of the patient and improve comfort using available resources.
Every treatment team of the people diagnosed with breast cancer cannot be operative without breast care nurses.
The expertise of these nursing specialists is vital in guiding the patient through the whole treatment process and until the end of life care.