Today’s nurses may be deeply involved in the comprehensive care of cancer patients and their families. This contrasts sharply with 20 or 30 years ago, when oncology was not a specialty and nursing training aimed at competence to give physical care to those who were physically sick, or support those who were mentally disturbed. Education of the professional nurse of today incorporates training in biological, social and behavioural science, and nurses are therefore equipped to care for the sick and their families and also to be aware of the impact of illness on their lives. Nursing has moved into a professional role where total responsibility and accountability for care is expected.
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