A nurse is preparing to administer chemotherapy to a patient who has liver cancer. Which of the following elements should the nurse uphold when preparing and administering chemotherapy?

 

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Correct

- The nurse should wear gloves, a gown and protective eyewear when preparing and administering chemotherapy

- Chemotherapy that is administered intravascularly should be given through a peripheral IV

- Oral chemotherapy agents require the strictest handling practices for the safety of healthcare providers who administer them

- If a chemotherapy agent comes into contact with the eyes during preparation, the nurse should flush the eyes vigorously for at least 30 seconds

Rationale

"The nurse should wear gloves, a gown and protective eyewear when preparing and administering chemotherapy" is correct. Chemotherapy belongs to a category of drugs called cytotoxics. As the name implies, cytotoxics are harmful to the body, both to the non-cancerous areas of a cancer patient's body and to the healthcare worker preparing and administering them. Anytime a nurse prepares chemotherapy they should wear gloves, a gown and protective eyewear to prevent accidental exposure to the substance.



"Chemotherapy that is administered intravascularly should be given through a peripheral IV" is incorrect because chemotherapy is a vesicant and irritates the smaller veins. Therefore it is recommended that chemotherapy be administered into a central vein in body, not a peripheral vein.



"Oral chemotherapy agents require the strictest handling practices for the safety of healthcare providers who administer them" is incorrect because handling practices with chemotherapy agents is for the protection of both the healthcare provider AND the patient.



"If a chemotherapy agent comes into contact with the eyes during preparation, the nurse should flush the eyes vigorously for at least 30 seconds" is incorrect because the eyes should be flushed for much longer. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) recommends flushing for 15 minutes at an eyewash station or with sterile normal saline.

References:
Easty, A., Coakley, N., Cheng, R., Cividino, M., Savage, P., Tozer, R., & White, R. (2015, February). Safe handling of cytotoxics: Guideline recommendations. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4324350/

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