Nursing care by telephone: describing practice in an ambulatory oncology center.

L. M. Nail, D. Greene, L. S. Jones, M. Flannery

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Ambulatory oncology nursing care focuses on providing patients and families with the knowledge and resources needed to manage the symptoms of disease and the side effects of treatment. Nurses practicing in ambulatory care settings have limited face-to-face interaction with patients and families. As a result, telephone contact is used to give information, provide encouragement, and assess the patient's condition. To develop and test methods of delivering care to oncology patients by telephone, current practices must be documented. This study describes the use of the telephone in ambulatory oncology nursing in one patient care setting. Over a six-month period, nurses reported on 1,844 patient calls. Data collected on these telephone calls included: duration, initiator, purpose, nurse's assessment of urgency level, impact on the nursing care plan, and changes made in the use of healthcare services. The Outcome Standards for Cancer Nursing Practice of The American Nurses' Association and the Oncology Nursing Society most frequently addressed during the calls were information, comfort, and coping. Nurses in this setting functioned independently, handling 91% of the calls they received and using consultation for 52% of the calls.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)387-395
Number of pages9
JournalOncology nursing forum
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1989
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology(nursing)


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