Top Tips for Oncology

Cite this article as:
Ana Waddington. Top Tips for Oncology, Don't Forget the Bubbles, 2020. Available at:
https://doi.org/10.31440/DFTB.29036

Next up in our DFTB Top Tips series is a set of helpful tips for caring for oncology patients.

Top Tips for Managing Febrile Neutropaenia

  1. Patient should be nursed in protective isolation
  2. Access your local Paediatric Oncology Supportive Care Guidelines for first line antibiotic choice
  3. Refer to your Local Paediatric Oncology Supportive Care Guidelines for guidance and to ensure all correct tests are completed 
  4. Medical review and IV antibiotics to be administered within an hour of presentation 
  5. One documented temperature 38  ̊C or over is enough to start treatment (even if this was at home and they are now under 38  ̊C)
  6. Culture all lumens 
  7. The use of high dose steroids in induction treatment for Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia can mask signs of infection, low threshold for starting treatment for febrile neutropaenia during this part of the protocol

3 other things to think about…

  1. Pre-filled saline flushes: These contain preservatives which can cause discomfort or allergy in some patients – find out if your patient is sensitive.
  2. Nausea and vomiting can be made worse by strong smells such as antiseptic wipes.
  3. Mucositis is a common side effect of chemotherapy and can cause considerable pain for patients. Be careful when inserting nasogastric tubes, encourage regular mouth care and analgesia and avoid using PR medications.

What are some of your top tips when caring for oncology patients? Feel free to share them in the comments below!

For your convenience or as a handy reminder for your workplace, the top tips are highlighted in an A4 poster below (infographic design by Kat Priddis @kls_kat):

Top Tips for Play & Distraction

Cite this article as:
Ana Waddington. Top Tips for Play & Distraction, Don't Forget the Bubbles, 2020. Available at:
https://doi.org/10.31440/DFTB.29018

Next up in our DFTB Top Tips series is a set of helpful ideas for improving play & helping distract your patients from painful procedures. A special thanks to Janie Saunders for helping share her wisdom from many years working as a play specialist.

  1. Play is a tool that opens doors and is a universal language.
  2. Always address the child or young person first (not their parents). Treat them as the individuals that they are.
  3. Do not lie – Say what you are going to do. Do it.
  4. Every age needs distraction no matter how old!
  5. A smile is always good. Consider how you can show children your calmness and gentleness. If they trust you, it will be easier to examine them and perform procedures.
  6. Remember that no one is ever too big to be scared.
  7. Consider play specialists for bereavement talks
  8. Take your time to talk to them.
  9. If something doesn’t work – try something else! Keep trying; it really makes a difference
  10. Toys are your friend – there are plenty of different toys to choose from – bubbles, talking, iPads, noisy books, lighting up toys, cause and effect toys, books, finding games, sensory toys, cards, and ‘Where’s Wally’ and ‘I Spy’ books.

What are some of your top tips for play and distraction? Feel free to share them in the comments below!

For your convenience or as a handy reminder for your workplace, the top tips are highlighted in an A4 poster below (infographic design by Kat Priddis @kls_kat & Grace Leo @gracie_leo):