Occasionally, there are situations when nurses have to take up doctors’ work when communicating with patients. This paper reviews the case of Mr. Alcindor that happened to visit a medical center when a doctor was out of town. A nurse should provide him with information about his PSA results, the possible treatment, and outcomes. Although nurses do not possess an in-depth knowledge of medicine, they can do a literature review and draft a plan based on the caring theories of their profession.
A nurse practitioner could use literature to become more proficient with the topic. For instance, the case of Mr. Alcindor concerns the issue of potential prostate cancer. That makes it reasonable to review the medical journals that have articles about PSA levels and prostate cancer treatment.
The first article that could be useful for a nurse is the one describing the methods of detection and prognosis of prostate cancer based on various tests (Filella & Foj, 2016). It would be especially helpful in understanding that the prostate-specific agent (or PSA) biomarker can sometimes show false-positive results. This research discusses other methods of detecting oncological biomarkers, part of which are not invasive. Apart from this review, there is also a note on the survival rates of men with different types of prostate cancer, as well as the prognosis regarding aggressive and non-aggressive type. This article is particularly useful for nurses since it provides them with theoretical knowledge of different screening methods that can be done after the first test results came in, as it is described in the case of Mr. Alcindor.
The second article is more specific regarding the treatment methods of prostate cancer (Saad et al., 2017). There are two main types of cancer treatment, which are radiotherapy and androgen deprivation. However, progress is different depending on the level of risk. The outcomes seem to be very promising when the conformant radiotherapy is used for the high-risk types, yet it does not appear to be enough for a very high-risk form. In any case, these predictions can be made only after all the screening tests are done.
The theory of human caring developed by Dr. Jean Watson underlines the importance of working interpersonally, addressing patients’ needs, promoting health, and accepting them as they are. The information described above could help a nurse to develop a preliminary treatment plan for Mr. Alcindor according to these fundamental principles. The first thing that should be addressed by a nurse is the potentially false results of a PSA test. A nurse must offer him to undergo at least one other test to be sure about the diagnosis. The second step would be discussing the patient’s concerns and fears regarding his case if it would be proven that he has a PC. A nurse should give him a prognosis based on his type of cancer. Different methods of treatment should also be discussed along with the risks that they carry. Since the patient has a family, a nurse must be compassionate and offer him to decide whether he wants to tell them about the problem.
While the doctors’ surveillance is necessary, nurses can give some valuable advice to patients. In the case with Mr. Alcindor, he can receive a professional treatment plan from a nurse if he or she does some literature review before the session. Nurses can potentially be more helpful than doctors since they are usually more compassionate and exercise an interpersonal approach, which is important when dealing with patients who have high-risk illnesses.
Filella, X., & Foj, L. (2016). Prostate cancer detection and prognosis: From prostate specific antigen (PSA) to exosomal biomarkers. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 17(11), 1-22.
Saad, A., Goldstein, J., Lawrence, Y. R., Spieler, B., Leibowitz-Amit, R., Berger, R., et al. (2017). Classifying high-risk versus very high-risk prostate cancer: Is it relevant to outcomes of conformal radiotherapy and androgen deprivation?. Radiation Oncology, 12, 1-8.