Oncology Services – Getting Ready for the Move

CVMC has long realized the value of unifying the various cancer programs to promote optimal patientCVMC_pavilion outcomes, improve easy of accessibility and patient satisfaction. The cancer services were provided in 3 different locations with the Radiation Therapy department in the main hospital wing, the inpatient Oncology unit located on the 6th floor of the hospital tower and the remotely located Infusion Center. Many years were devoted to planning for the combination of all oncology services in a state of the art new building named the Pavilion set to open in January 2013, placing the inpatient Oncology unit and Infusion Center in a connected building to the Radiation Therapy department. To ensure safe patient care, nurse and ancillary staff education regarding the new facility is crucial.

What was the Goal?

The purpose of educating and training the Oncology and Infusion Center nursing staff was to optimize nursing orientation to the Pavilion, ensure a seamless transition, and guarantee exceptional patient outcomes.  In January 2012 an interprofessional committee charged with identifying and developing specific education for nursing staff was formed.  The identified needs included emergency management, environment of care, infection control, and new equipment. The overarching goal was to develop a comprehensive educational program to meet the needs of the nursing staff enabling them to transition into their new environment and continue providing safe and excellent patient care. The planning and coordination of activities were led by Kim Sloop, BSN, RN, OCN, clinical development coordinator for the oncology unit.

How did they get there?

Monthly planning sessions were held beginning in January 2012 preparing for the Pavilion opening in January 2013.  In addition to developing an education needs assessment by the involved stakeholders of the committee, the need for utilizing outside resources was recognized. The group felt learning from other organizations that have experienced a monumental task such as this would be invaluable.  There were several lessons learned from reaching out to other hospitals that had recently opened a new building.  For example, having vendors available during the education sessions, performing a scavenger hunt for staff to familiarize themselves with the new layout, and having nurses involved with stocking the units were ideas shared and incorporated into the final education and orientation schedule.

Lesson plan development was instrumental in providing meaningful education that would provide the best learning experience to the nursing staff. Once the education content solidified, the committee’s next step in the process was to identify the number of clinical staff to be trained and facilitate staff attendance at one of the two orientation sessions.  January 2nd and January 3rd, 2013 were identified as “Education Days” for the Infusion Center and inpatient Oncology nurses.  Nursing staff for these areas were provided eight hours of orientation, based on the previously developed lesson plans, to become acquainted with the Pavilion.

Time line developed by the committee to ensure education objectives were met:


Did the preparation & education efforts make a difference?

The goal for developing an educational program was to provide the nursing staff an orientation process to their new surroundings therefore creating a comfortable, working knowledge of the Pavilion that will foster optimal care. To measure the effectiveness of the education presented on January 2nd and 3rd, the nursing staff was asked to complete a pre-intervention survey designed to assess  confidence and knowledge which was given at the beginning of the assigned education day. On January 30th, 2013, following the move of the Oncology services (infusion center and inpatient unit) to the Pavilion, the nursing staff completed the same survey they had completed before the education sessions in early January. The results of these pre and post surveys demonstrated that the comprehensive lesson plans developed and methods of presenting this education were highly effective. 

The results speak for itself. Below is a comparison of the scores of the pre-education survey as well as post-education survey.



The education/orientation subcommittee was comprised of the following interprofessional members:

  • Ginger Biggerstaff, MSN, RN-BC, Pavilion Project Manager, and Education & Orientation Subcommittee Chairperson
  • Kim Sloop, BSN, OCN, Oncology Clinical Development Coordinator
  • Melanie Lutz, BSN, OCN, Director- Infusion Center and Oncology
  • Terrill Coulter, BSN, OCN, Oncology Resource/Patient Care Coordinator
  • Debra Kennedy, HEM, Catawba Valley Medical Center Safety Officer 
  • Jonathan Holman, BMET III, Director of Clinical Technology
  • Kelly Helton, RPh, Infusion Center Pharmacist
  • Mike Helton, BSN, Emergency Management Coordinator