Our Personal Approach
Personalized Cancer Treatment
Because we bring state-of-the-art care to numerous locations in Florida, you can remain near your home, surrounded by friends and family. In fact, you are welcome to bring them to your doctor visits and involve them in your decision-making process.
Treatments for cancers and blood disorders vary greatly. Many factors will be considered for your personalized cancer treatment, such as the type of cancer, its stage and location, your general health, age and medical history. After reviewing the benefits and risks for each of your options, you and your doctor will set a course together. Our goal is to help you continue your normal life and schedule, as much as possible. Of course, patient reactions to treatment may vary.
The best way to prepare is to be informed, so we’ll address your concerns, as well as questions about side effects, treatment frequency, medications and many other topics. We’ll also talk about any possible impact on your normal life or work schedule. If you have follow-up questions later, simply call your local office, and a nurse will return your call by the end of the business day or, if it’s a weekend, by Monday.*
*If you have an urgent medical need over a weekend, seek immediate attention through emergency room services.
The Role of the Oncology Nurse Practitioner and Physician Assistant
Providing Clinical Excellence and the Highest Quality of Care
Throughout the treatment of cancer, patients at Florida Cancer Specialists may sometimes see a Nurse Practitioner (NP) or a Physician Assistant (PA) in addition to, or instead of, a physician.
At Florida Cancer Specialists, the role of the NP and PA is a critically important one that can enrich the quality of care our patients receive.
What is a nurse practitioner or physician assistant?
A nurse practitioner (NP) has a master’s or doctoral degree in nursing and a physician assistant has a master’s degree. Both the NP and the PA possess training and experience necessary to assess, diagnose and prescribe care, medications and treatment to promote overall wellness and comfort to patients and their families. NPs are licensed by State Boards of Nursing. In Florida, NPs must have completed a formal educational program, passed a national examination and hold national advanced practice certification to be certified and hold the title as an advanced registered nurse practitioner (APRN) by the Florida State Board of Nursing. PAs are licensed by State Boards of Medicine. In Florida, PAs must have completed a formal educational program, passed a national proficiency examination, and hold certification by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) to be certified and hold the title of Physician Assistant by the Florida State Board of Medicine. In a community oncology practice, such as Florida Cancer Specialists, an NP or PA specializes in caring for patients with cancer and hematologic (blood) disorders.
What does an oncology nurse practitioner and physician assistant do?
At Florida Cancer Specialists, our NPs and PAs work closely and collaboratively with our physicians to provide the highest quality care to patients and their families. They may see patients along with the physician at the initial consultation and will often see them for follow-up visits. They provide symptom management and psychosocial support, clarify information, offer education and work with the cancer care team to maximize, maintain, or restore patient health through improvements in practice and through innovation in the delivery of a variety of health services.
Patients have reported a “high degree of satisfaction” with the care they received from NPs and PAs.
Care Management is an emerging program at Florida Cancer Specialists that utilizes a team approach to deliver quality care to our patients. The Care Team consists of YOU (our patient), your physician/nurse practitioner/PA, the RN Care Manager, pharmacist, nutritionist, clinic staff and several others. The Care Team is designed to optimize each patient’s health status and quality of life. You will have an individualized care plan that is developed through collaboration between you, your physician and the Care Team.