Oncology nursing: professional development as a clinical specialty in Hong Kong



Cancer is a major health problem world-wide. Therefore, it is not surprising that cancer is identified as the top priority disease group for an improvement programme by the Hospital Authority in Hong Kong. Laser therapy for patients with nasopharyngeal carcinoma, for example, is evidence of the advancement of the scientific and technological developments for cancer treatment. Furthermore, the establishment of the Cancer Centre has provided ample opportunities for clinical practices and research studies. In response to the proclamation of the ‘urgent need for the establishment of a cancer society in every country’ by Searle in 1990, the Oncology Care Society of Hong Kong, which aims to promote both cancer education and cancer research, was established in 1993. Adopted from the core curriculum of the European Oncology Nursing Society, the specialist course of cancer nursing care was first implemented in Hong Kong in 1993 and the nurse specialist is now a permanent part of nursing career structure in Hong Kong. This paper attempts to review the development of oncology nursing in Hong Kong according to these factors and to find ways to improve the current situation.