National Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Nurses Day Date in the current year: September 8, 2024

National Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Nurses Day National Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Nurses Day is celebrated annually on September 8. It was founded by the Association of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Nurses (APHON) to celebrate the hard work and dedication of its members.

Pediatric hematology/oncology is the branch of medicine that focuses on the treatment of blood disorders and cancers in children, teenagers, and young adults. It deals with the diagnostics, treatment, management, and prevention of malignant tumors, blood cancers (leukemia and lymphoma), blood cell disorders (anemia, sickle cell disease, thalassaemia, etc.), and bleeding and clotting disorders.

But why exactly is pediatric hematology/oncology a separate branch? Can’t regular hematologists and oncologists treat children? The thing is, children are not just small adults. Their bodies are working differently while they’re growing and have unique medical needs that must be addressed in order for the treatment to be successful.

In addition, young children are often harder to diagnose than adults because they may find it difficult to describe their symptoms and articulate their health concerns. They may lack necessary words or just be too shy or scared to properly answer medical questions, and can be less cooperative and patient than adults.

Cancer is scary as it is, but it can be especially scary for kids. And even children who are too young to fully understand the gravity of their illness will most likely be scared of the numerous medical procedures they have to undergo. The battle against cancer is exhausting, and it is crucial that the bedside manner of healthcare professionals who care for a sick child during this battle is impeccable.

This is why healthcare professionals working in the field of pediatric hematology/oncology – doctors, nurses, orderlies, hospice workers, etc. – need more than just medical knowledge and skills. They must be particularly patient and kind in order to make children and teenagers feel as relaxed as possible, given the situation. In addition, pediatric nurses provide guidance to parents who often feel overwhelmed with the challenge of caring for a child who has a serious disease.

The Association of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Nurses created National Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Nurses Day to highlight the importance of pediatric care and give a shout-out to all healthcare professionals who help children, adolescents and young adults through serious illnesses. Their job is mentally taxing and very sad at times, but they find it extremely rewarding to see their little patients get better with every day.

National Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Nurses Day is observed during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. While pediatric cancers are rare, they are a leading cause of death past infancy in children and teenagers. In most cases, childhood cancer cannot be identified through screening or preventing, so the most efficient strategy to improve outcomes is early diagnosis combined with treatment by a team comprising healthcare professionals who specialize in pediatric care.

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