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Oncology Nurse Adherence to Safe-Handling Practices


The work of a nurse is one of the noblest and most demanding in the world since these professionals take care of people that are not able to look after themselves due to health issues. However, it is crucial for nurses to secure not only their patient’s protection of harm but also their own safety. Dealing with dangerous substances, such as chemotherapy medications, puts nurses at risk of being exposed to the so-called second-hand chemotherapy. Research by Colvin, Karius, and Albert (2016) is focused on the analysis of oncology nurses’ adherence to chemotherapy safety measures. The paper aims at analyzing safe-handling practices for nurses as one of the significant aspects reflected in the evidence-based nursing practice.

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Research Question

The research question in the study is concerned with analyzing actual and subjective obedience to chemotherapy safe-handling recommendations by nurses. This issue is highly important since it involves the safety of healthcare workers who devote their lives to helping patients. The investigation of the research question is associated with such aspects as self-assessment and observation. The trend that has affected this question is the growing concern of healthcare organizations about nurses’ safety measures while working with dangerous substances (Silver, Steege, & Boiano, 2016). Since these healthcare professionals are most likely to be exposed to harmful materials, the investigation of the research question could promote finding effective solutions to the problem.

Research Design

The reviewed study utilizes the prospective and mixed-methods research design. Colvin et al. (2016) have combined the observational approach with a self-assessment questionnaire completed by nurses. The mixed-method design is an effective solution in this case since it allows the researchers to compare and contrast the results obtained from two different perspectives. The most common limitations of questionnaires are the respondents’ inability to understand the question or an inadequate degree of honesty. However, the benefits of this design are more numerous, including cost-efficiency, speedy answers, and practicality. The combination of the observational approach, which enables the inspection of nurses in their natural working environment, with the questionnaire method is a highly effective research design.


The sample size is one of the aspects of research that allow making deductions about the reliability and validity of findings. In the present study, the sample consists of thirty-three nurses working in Cleveland Clinic (Colvin et al., 2016). Out of this number, twelve participants have completed the self-assessment questionnaire. The sample size seems to be inadequate for the purpose of the study since the number of participants is too small to provide a representative result. Such a small sample size signifies a low confidence level and increases the margins of error. Thus, this factor cannot be considered satisfactory in the current study.

Data Collection Methods

The appropriate data collection method is crucial for any research since this factor affects the duration and cost of the project. In the analyzed paper, data were collected by three observers that were proficient in oncology nursing care (Colvin et al., 2016). The observers were not known to the nurses that were being observed. Thus, the tools used were the ones that allowed recording observations, such as a pen with a notebook and a laptop. The ethical considerations were addressed since the questionnaires were confidential. However, there was a gap in regards to ethical considerations since the nurses had not been informed about being observed and assessed.

Limitations of the Study

Scholars should pay due attention to identifying and discussing their studies’ limitations since such analyses allow the audience to make conclusions about the reliability of research. Also, mentioning limitations outlines the areas that could be improved in further research. In the article by Colvin et al. (2016), the major limitation established by the authors is the small sample size. Another disadvantage is the inclusion of only one clinic’s nurses in the study. To overcome these barriers in further studies, it is recommended to include more than one facility, use a larger sample size, and compare and contrast the results obtained by observation and self-assessment.

Reported Findings

The study’s findings represent an important component of the article since they demonstrate what researchers have managed to investigate or prove. In the reviewed article, findings indicate that nurses have completed safety regulations 100% of the time (Colvin et al., 2016). These findings answer the research question that is concerned with safety measures taken by care providers. Three activities have been observed:

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  1. disposing of gloves,
  2. discarding the chemotherapy bag,
  3. washing hands after the procedure.

It has been found that nurses tend to carry out double gloving more frequently than they perceived when filling out the questionnaires. The findings may be considered credible since two methods have been employed to obtain them.


The paper analyzed such important aspects of the article as research question and design, sample and data collection methods, findings, and limitations. The research question is highly important for investigation since it involves nurses’ safety. It is possible to implement findings in practice, but more research is needed due to the small sample size. Still, the evidence is strong enough to suggest new ideas in practice. Overall, the article is a significant investigation of a crucial aspect of the modern healthcare system.


Colvin, C. M., Karius, D., & Albert, N. M. (2016). Nurse adherence to safe-handling practices: Observation versus self-assessment. Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing, 20(6), 617-622. Web.

Silver, S. R., Steege, A. L., & Boiano, J. M. (2016). Predictors of adherence to safe handling practices for antineoplastic drugs: A survey of hospital nurses. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, 13(3), 203-212. Web.

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