Wading through Misery, Hope and Beauty in Caring for Cancer Patients: Experiences of Oncology Nurses

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Jocelyn Perlas Lauro, MAEd MAN, RN
Veronica M. Dancil, MSN, RN
Mercedes Arguel-Belza, EdD, MAN, RN


Nurses are often engaged in providing care for patients who are diagnosed with terminal illness and are faced with the process of dying. Working with these patients and families can be emotionally demanding and challenging. Nurses ought to meet the challenge of developing and rendering effective interventions for cancer patients, focusing predominantly on health promotion, end-of-life care, and above all, the four domains of health-related quality of life: physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual functioning. Health-related Quality of Life (HRQoL) interventions can empower patients to practice health behaviors and facilitate them to be self-directed in their care; thereby contributing substantially to their quality of life. This study aimed to describe and understand the ‘lived’ experiences of oncology nurses in providing health-related quality of life interventions among cancer patients. The study was conducted using descriptive phenomenological method and data was generated through one-on-one audio-recorded interview with ten oncology nurses Colaizzi’s (1978) procedural interpretation of the phenomenological method of inquiry was used for data coding and identifying themes. Methods to ensure trustworthiness of the findings were implemented. Three themes with 14 sub-themes were identified. Results of the study showed that health-related quality of life interventions were essential in nursing care among cancer patients. It was suggested that the manner in which cancer patients’ quality of life improves through HRQoL interventions should be further studied. In addition, it may be of value for nursing leaders to provide specified training programs for oncology nurses working on issues relevant to the HRQoL intervention skills.

Keywords: Oncology Nurses, Cancer Patients, Health-related Quality of Life, Health-related Quality of Life Interventions


About the Authors

Jocelyn Perlas Lauro, MAEd MAN, RN received her undergraduate degree in nursing from University of Perpetual Help – Dalta, her graduate degree in nursing from University of Asia and the Pacific, and obtained her 21 education units from the Rizal Technological University in Mandaluyong. She is an RFT – Associate Professor I of the Institute of Nursing, Far Eastern University – Manila. She considers herself as an advanced beginning researcher despite being a part of the successful feasibility study on satellite clinics. While her areas of expertise are in intravenous therapy, electrocardiogram, ethics and jurisprudence, nursing leadership and management,
emergency disaster nursing, and bioethics, her research interests converge into geriatric nursing and hospice care, student nurses competencies in the clinical area, clinical trials of herbal plants, and educational development. Correspondence e-mail: jlauro@feu.edu.ph

Veronica M. Dancil, MSN, RN is an Associate Professor of the Far Eastern University, Institute of Nursing. She is a full time faculty handling subjects in the BSN program and also clinical follow up in the following agencies Manila Health Department, National Center of Mental Health, FEU-NRMF Medical Center and Dr. Jose Reyes Memorial Medical Center. She earned her Master’s degree at St Paul University and is currently taking her PhD in Nursing Education at St. Paul University Manila . Correspondence e-mail: vdancil@feu.edu.ph

Mercedes Arguel-Belza, EdD, MAN, RN is a former Associate Professor at the Far Eastern University (FEU), Manila. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) at Philippine Women’s University (PWU) in 1975, Master of Arts in Nursing (MAN) at Arellano University, Manila in 2000 and Doctor of Education (EdD) at FEU in 2011. She retired from being an active educator in May 2015 and now ventures the world of entrepreneurship. With a grateful heart, she is thankful to her family, colleagues, friends and mentors throughout her journey in the academe.