The Development of Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Nursing: The UK Experience
Nursing adolescents and young adults (AYAs) with cancer is an emerging specialty and has been in development for about the last 25 years. AYAs have specific needs, with a different biology of disease as compared with adults and children, and they require specific services in order to help to improve their experience and survival chance. Nurses have been at the forefront of these developments, leading change at first locally and in more recent years across regions and countries.
This chapter will describe the history of these nursing developments, the drivers for change and the initiatives taken to embed AYA care into practice. It will also incorporate the views of young people and the challenges observed by those at the heart of this innovation.
It is vital to ensure that AYA cancer care is ultimately seen as a mainstream specialty alongside paediatric and adult services, growing our teams and expertise and supporting those teams who are less able to develop. Sharing practice and disseminating experiences should be central to the AYA nursing community.
KeywordsAdolescents and young adults Cancer Nursing Innovation Leadership Development of specialism
My thanks to those professionals who gave me their views via email for this chapter and to all those who have been a part of this journey.
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