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Oncological Nurses

Experience, Skills, and Personality Traits

According to, about one quarter of all oncology nurses have less than one year's experience; another quarter have two to six years' experience; about 20 percent have 5 to 10 years; 15 percent have 10 to 15 years experience; and 20 percent have over 15 years of experience. Important skills for any nurse include critical thinking skills, including the ability to assess changes in the health state of patients; knowing when to take corrective actions; and being able to judge when to make referrals. Nursing skills also include being detail oriented so the nurse can deliver the correct treatments and medicines in a timely manner. Because nurses must deal with multiple patients, each with different needs, being organized is critical in making sure the patient is cared for properly, as is the ability to speak clearly and effectively in order to convey important information. Compassion and patience are two personality traits that are essential in nurses who must cope with the stresses and difficulties that are part of the job.

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