Beth Wittmer on Educating Patients on Neutropenia as a Side of Effect of Cancer Treatment

As patients start chemotherapy to treat their cancer, they are educated on the side effects, particularly neutropenia, said Beth Wittmer, RN, OCN, manager of care management at Florida Cancer Specialists and Research Institute.

How are patients educated on the risk of neutropenia when they’re treated for cancer?
Any patient coming to Florida Cancer Specialists does education prior to starting or on the day of starting their chemotherapy, but there are many that are oral patients that maybe don’t ever go into a treatment room.

So, our care management department helps manage all of those patients, and with that we talk about the side effects of chemotherapy, with neutropenia being one of the most potentially lethal to them. So, we talk about those precautions and we sort of have templates built, as well as patients calling in after hours, and we have a neutropenia protocol that we follow, as well.
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