Beebe Pharmacist and Nurses Earn Oncology Certifications
The Tunnell Cancer Center at Beebe Medical Center proudly recognizes three members of its clinical team: Cheryl Hoechner, RPh, for earning the Board Certified Oncology Pharmacist (BCOP) designation; and Debbie Taylor, RN, and Donna Miskin, RN, for earning the Oncology Certified Nurse (OCN) designation. Each of these professional credentials is the result of successfully preparing for and completing rigorous 200+-question certification examinations and meeting respective specialty certification requirements. Ultimately, patients and the entire Center team benefit from their professional development and honed skills.
Ms. Hoechner sat for the Oncology Pharmacy exam in October and was notified in December of her passing score. As of this year's examination, she is one of only two pharmacists in Delaware to hold the BCOP designation, and one of approximately 300 in the country. Oncology pharmacists provide specialized pharmaceutical care to patients with cancer. They promote optimal care by ensuring correct dosing and symptom management. Ms. Hoechner has been closely involved in the management of drug therapy for cancer patients at the Tunnell Cancer Center for approximately three years.
"It's the tremendous teamwork at the Tunnell Center, the support of my colleagues and the patients that we care for, that inspired me to pursue board certification," Ms. Hoechner explained.
Minimum requirements to sit for the BCOP exam, which is administered by the Board of Pharmaceutical Specialties, include: graduation from an accredited or acceptable pharmacy program; current, active license to practice pharmacy; completion of three years of practice with substantial time spent in oncology pharmacy; and achieving a passing score on the Oncology Pharmacy Specialty Certification Examination. Ms. Hoechner joined Beebe in 1999, having worked previously as a pharmacist at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center since 1984, where she specialized in Oncology. In addition she holds advanced degrees from the University of Pittsburgh in Pharmacy Practice and Information Science.
Ms. Taylor and Ms. Miskin sat for the OCN exam in September and learned of their success last month. The exam covers areas ranging from quality of life, gastrointestinal and cardiopulmonary function, to oncologic emergencies and ethical issues. Both women believe the OCN certification boosts their professional development and expressed a great sense of achievement.
“We are grateful for the support of other nurses, professional staff and the doctors here at the Tunnell Cancer Center who helped us prepare,” both women explained.
To qualify to sit for the OCN exam, one must hold a current RN license, have a minimum of one year experience as an RN within three years prior to application, have completed a minimum of 1,000 hours of oncology nursing practice within the two and one half years prior to application, and completion of a minimum of 10 contact hours of continuing education in the specialty of oncology nursing or an academic elective in oncology nursing. Ms. Taylor has worked at Beebe for 10 years and Ms. Miskin has worked at Beebe for 13 years.
For information about services provided at Beebe’s Tunnell Cancer Center, please call 645-3171.