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Background: With the aim of ensuring equal access to cancer care, 15 pediatric cancer base hospitals were designated in 2013, and
it is expected that liaison between these and 146 pediatric cancer care hospitals (âcare hospitalsâ) will be further promoted in Japan.
In order to improve the quality of care in the latter, it is important for the former to provide educational support for nurses working
in them. As a basis for such support, this study aimed to clarify the actual situation of care hospitals, as well as difficulties faced and
support needed by nurses working in them. Methods: To examine the above-mentioned items, a quantitative survey was conducted
within the period between September and November 2016, involving head nurses on pediatric or hematology/oncology wards and
nurses with 1-year or longer nursing experience at 146 care hospitals throughout Japan. Results: Among the 146 care hospitals, 54
consented to cooperate with the study, while 28 did not due to the absence of pediatric inpatients with cancer. Valid responses were
obtained from 584 (66.51%) nurses working in the former. The most frequent difficulty faced by them was (1) nursing care for patients
with serious conditions, followed by: (2) infection control, (3) symptom management, (4) assistance with learning /play activities,
and (5) patient preparation, in this order. Furthermore, the following factors were associated with the level of difficulty: a national/
public hospital, small number of pediatric inpatients with cancer, and limited experience in nursing or working on pediatric wards.
Conclusion: Difficulties faced by nurses in pediatric cancer care were associated with insufficient nursing or clinical experience,
highlighting the importance of educational support for nurses, particularly those with a lack of experience in caring for pediatric
cancer patients, from base hospitals.
Mayu Yoshitsugu is a master student of Hiroshima University Graduate School of Biomedical & Health Sciences. She belongs to pediatric nursing laboratory of a Professor Ikuko Sobue. Mayu Yoshitsugu is studying pediatric oncology nursing in particular. We carried out a questionnaire survey about pediatric oncology nurses’ difficulties and educational support needs. We try to establish appropriate educational support program for pediatric nurses for the future.