An Interview With Nursing Leadership From Mount Sinai Downtown Oncology Services

Screen Shot 2016-12-14 at 2.25.48 PMThe Mount Sinai Heath System is undertaking a sweeping transformation of Mount Sinai Beth Israel (MSBI), by investing more than $500 million to create the new Mount Sinai Downtown network, an expanded and unified network of state-of-the-art facilities stretching from the East River to the Hudson River below 34th Street.

In an effort to understand how this transformation will impact cancer services, Amanda Anderson, MSN, MPA, RN, CCRN, sat down with Jemilat Siju, MSN, RN, APN-BC, OCN, the Director of Nursing of oncology services for cancer services within the Mount Sinai Downtown network and Mount Sinai West.

 AA: What are the new names of the buildings in the Mount Sinai Downtown network that house our oncology services? How do you feel about these changes?

 JS: The new names are a reflection of the geographic locations of services within the Mount Sinai Downtown network. Comprehensive Cancer Center West is now Mount Sinai Downtown-Chelsea Center. PACC, or the Phillips Ambulatory Care Center, is now Mount Sinai Downtown-Union Square.

I like the new names! They make us more consistent with the system as a whole and are quite specific to where we are located. This makes it easier for patients to identify us.

AA: What are the differences between the two sites and their programs?nursesCCW

JS: At Mount Sinai Downtown-Chelsea Center, our services include medical oncology, radiation oncology, an infusion suite, a women’s center (for breast surgery and GYN services), an ambulatory surgical unit, Mohs surgery (a surgical technique used to treat skin cancer), plastics, and routine dermatology care.

The Mount Sinai Downtown-Union Square facility provides medical oncology, radiation oncology, an infusion suite, and breast surgical services.

While some services are only offered at the Mount Sinai Downtown-Chelsea Center, the office at Mount Sinai Downtown-Union Square is expanding. For instance, it is currently working to obtain a blood product transfusion license.

AA: How specialized are the nurses in each Downtown facility?

JS: Our nurses are customer-focused experts in patient-centered care. They are well trained to administer chemotherapy, biotherapy, blood products, non-cancer therapies (such as those for immunologic disorders), and to perform therapeutic phlebotomies. They are excellent patient advocates and have mastered how to identify and respond accordingly to the needs of oncology patients.

We also have an excellent team of medical assistants and patient care technicians working alongside our nurses.

AA: As the leader of oncology services in the Mount Sinai Downtown network, what quality improvement activities do you aim to implement in 2017? Additionally, what are your broader hopes for the future of the facility?

JS: Next year, I aim to focus on decreasing patient wait time and creating more efficient and satisfactory throughput workflows in all of our waiting rooms. I also hope to work with my staff to understand the most effective ways of preparing patients for what to expect during radiation and infusion therapies.

I dream of a time when the oncology nursing team in the Mount Sinai Downtown network will become research generators, leading the nation in the nursing care of oncology patients. We have started to lay the foundation through very active nursing and advanced nursing shared governance committees. I hope for a cancer program in which we raise nursing scholars and have a system that permits our more experienced nurses to mentor younger nurses.

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