Nursing in The Gill Center takes on a team approach as both inpatient and outpatient nurses work together with all disciplines including child life, social work, pastoral care and other complementary programs to ensure patients and families have an ideal health care experience.
The nurses on the inpatient foor complete an extensive orientation before caring for patients independently. New graduates complete an 18-week internship. All nurses must pass the Association of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Nurses (APHON) biotherapy provider course and test, which comes from a standardized national curriculum that is updated on a regular basis. Inpatient nurses usually care for hematology and oncology patients in the Gill Center for six months to a year before completing additional orientation to care for stem cell transplant patients.
On the outpatient side, nurses come with experience in caring for the Gill Center patient population. The nurses are specialized by patient populations, including hematology, sickle cell, hemophilia and bleeding disorders, stem cell transplant, neuro-oncology and general oncology.
Approximately 85 nurses staff the Gill Center inpatient program. There are approximately 25 outpatient nurses.
The Gill Center has 27 total advanced practice providers (APP), including nurse practitioners and physician assistants.
The Gill Center is part of the Children’s Oncology Group (COG), a National Cancer Institute-supported clinical trials group and the world’s largest organization devoted exclusively to pediatric cancer research. One oncology nurse practitioner serves as the study nurse for a COG trial and serves as a key nursing contact for the study across organizations.
Many of our oncology patients are treated with clinical trials. Nurses in the Gill Center are required to understand details of clinical trials to assure the exact medications and timing for treatment are followed. Nurses learn to use roadmaps, a one-page overview of the study, to validate that clinical trials are being followed appropriately when caring for patients participating in these clinical trials.
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With 24 pediatric hematologists and oncologists on staff, all of whom are faculty members at UT Southwestern Medical Center, we care for more than 1,000 new patients each year making the Gill Center the largest childhood cancer and blood center in the region.