The Disparity in Nursing Praxis and the Clinical Practice Guideline of Chemotherapy

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Chen-chun Kuo, BS
Zxyyann Lu, PhD
Institute of Clinical & Community Health Nursing, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan

Learning Objective 1: The learner is able to critically analyze the neutrality and objectivity of clinical evidences in chemotherapy

Learning Objective 2: The learner is able to understand interpretive meaning of the nurses protective practice in mitigating chemotherapy toxicity

Chemotherapy is the most common treatment regimen for cancer with significantly annual increased incidence and mortality rates in Taiwan. Nurses exposed to high toxic materials while caring for cancer patients. The Regulation for Cancer Care Quality Assurance Measures established in 2008 demands the actions taken to ensure the safe environment for nurses and patients. Various clinical practice guidelines (CPG) have been developed based on the Regulation in the name of evidence-based medicine (EBM) which has been promoted vigorously over the past decade in Taiwan. The objectivity and neutrality of scientific evidence has been the central theme in EBM which makes standardization of nursing practices possible. The clinical observations indicated that nurses has not used personal protective equipments properly. This study explores (1) how data sources produced from diverse clinical settings and context claim to be legitimacy evidence (2) how invisible and uncertain toxicity of chemotherapy clinical practices transformed and represented in standardized clinical guideline protocols (3) how nursing clinical practices represented the meaning of enacted toxicity and protection of chemotherapy interpreted by nurses.  Ethnography was applied and data collection included participant observation and ethnography interviews. Nurses providing chemotherapy in the oncology wards at the hospitals in the southern and central Taiwan were invited to participate. Data were transcribed verbatim and analyzed by the constant comparison method. The results showed that patterns of nursing judgments of various cancer patient conditions were normalized and disciplined as scientific evidence.  The perfection of nursing skills in infusion and delivery of chemotherapy drugs becomes the power to mitigate the toxicity.  In addition, the will to maintain professional relations with patients and family members keeps nurses away from their mandatory personal protective equipment.  In conclusion, experiences in daily practices should be accounted as good evidence and integrated as nursing exemplars in clinical practice guideline.