- This topic has 3 replies, 4 voices, and was last updated by Michelle Figueroa-Hernandez.
- January 24, 2024 at 9:25 am #33230
I absolutely agree with all of these things in many of the posts already. As someone who is newer to having many of these conversations, it’s helpful to hear other ideas and perspectives. I worked inpatient Pediatric Oncology for many years and now work in a Late Effects/Survivorship clinic. I remember there being some discussion about fertility when working inpatient, but it wasn’t something I was exposed to a lot, and now it is. These are conversations I’m having regularly with patients, some of which are surprised to hear the information. I often hear that families/patients were so focused on just getting through treatment that they remember this being brought up, but it wasn’t something they necessarily thought a lot about. Open ended question are always helpful. I always try to meet people where they are and ask them what they remember/what discussions they’ve had already. He did this in the video and it was good to see that. I also liked that he mentioned there is no “right” or “wrong” choice. I think it’s important to stress this. When working with younger kids having easy to understand material is helpful and also involving possibly Child Life or Psychology.
- January 26, 2024 at 8:29 am #33268
I’ve personally have never had to have these talks with patients or families working in an Inpatient Oncology unit which is why I’m taking this course, to gain knowledge and be prepared if the topic were to come up with any of my patients and families.
A few strategies I like from reading other threads are including Child Life Specialists because they may have good techniques on talking with certain age groups. Child Life Specialists might have picture books for children or diagrams for adolescents that might not be available to the oncology team. Also making sure that whoever will be initiating the fertility preservation topic has all the information they want to discuss before the actual discussion with the patient and family. I like the idea of informational brochures for the families to keep incase they are too overwhelmed at the point of discussion, they can always come back to the brochure at a later time.
- January 29, 2024 at 10:04 am #33290
Our program is in the process of developing handouts to give to families at the time of our fertility discussion. I agree that having something to refer back to is very important because often times, our families are very overwhelmed and appreciate being able to read and inform themselves before making a decision.
I have never considered looping in Child Life, but sounds like it could be very beneficial in certain situations.
- February 4, 2024 at 2:04 am #33379
I also currently work inpatient pediatric oncology. As I’m sure you understand, it seems that patients come in so ill that there is urgency to start treatment and fertility is seldom addressed. In my current role as a bedside nurse, I have had to provide education about sperm banking collection, in addition to coordinating collection timing and parental delivery of specimen. At first, I felt awkward and uncomfortable with the topic but I made myself normalize it as part of the clinical treatment. I sense patients/families are a lot more comfortable if the clinician is comfortable with the topic and if patients perceive it as the treatment norm. However, I still have large knowledge gaps in fertility preservation, which is why I applied for this course. I really appreciate what you said in your post about meeting patients where they are and reassuring patients/families in that there is no “wrong or right choice”.
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