Réseau québécois de la télésanté

Oncology nurses in the age of Telehealth

April 22, 2021
By Sarah Grenier-Darveau and collaborators, RQT


Screenshot of a virtual appointment between a patient and an oncology specialized nurse
The video capsule « OPNs in the age of Telehealth » presents the advantages of the virtual appointment between the patient and oncology nurse.

A new offer of virtual cancer care A new offer of virtual cancer care and services is taking shape in Quebec. Indeed, many people with cancer will now be able, if they wish, to benefit from remote follow-up via virtual meetings with their Oncology Pivot Nurse (OPN). OPNs play a central role in supporting patients throughout their cancer journey. They are currently working to appropriate the TeleHealth system to improve the service offering of oncology teams in health facilities across the province.

The benefits of this type of follow-up are numerous:

  • Eye contact strengthens the therapeutic relationship and closeness between the nurse and her patient, in addition to allowing for a more comprehensive assessment of the patient;
  • The patient remains in the comfort of his home for the meeting and can choose to be accompanied by a loved one, himself at a distance;
  • More frequent participation of patients in their appointments due to the greater ease of participating without the inconveniences associated with travel.

This new offering puts technology at the service of patients and professionals to improve access to quality care and services, both in the context of a pandemic and in the future.

OPNs Gabrielle Chartier and Marie-Hélène Lavoie, as well as Johanne Simard, representative of people affected by cancer, had the generosity to share their experience with TeleHealth in a video capsule. These examples demonstrate a collective effort to put the patient’s needs at the center of concerns by making services more easily accessible to this clientele weakened by the disease.