Team from The Cancer Institute of New Jersey Strives to Increase New Patient Attendance at Invaluable Treatment Orientations

Impact of Cancer Education is Subject of Research Presented at International Conference
October 27, 2010

New Brunswick, N.J.- Florence Nightingale once said that apprehension, uncertainty, waiting, expectation and fear of surprise do a patient more harm than any exertion.  This valuable philosophy is shared by today’s nurses, social workers and other healthcare professionals as they work to educate every patient -- before, during and after their treatment, leaving no question unanswered.  Professionals from The Cancer Institute of New Jersey (CINJ) and throughout the country will be sharing their ideas on effective ways to educate patients, practitioners and the public about cancer, when they gather this week at the International Cancer Education Conference in San Diego, California.  CINJ is a center of Excellence of UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. 

The conference features discussions on cancer education for patients, community outreach, prevention and detection, treatment and survivorship, palliative care and healthcare professional education.  One discussion on cancer education will showcase the work of CINJ’s Assistant Social Work Manager Julie Murphy, MSW, LCSW, OSW-C, and Leah Scaramuzzo, MSN, RN-BC, AOCN, associate director of nursing and patient education. Their research looks at CINJ’s attempt to ensure that new patients are maximizing the opportunity to receive a treatment orientation class. 

At CINJ orientation classes are offered twice a month, and are intended to be mandatory for all new patients beginning treatment.  If unable to attend the live class, patients are offered remote access methods such as viewing the orientation class on the Web, a DVD, or VHS tape. Despite these efforts to reach all new patients, it is estimated that only 70 percent are receiving this valuable information. 

Murphy and Scaramuzzo will share their latest approaches of re-evaluating the recruitment process as well as implementing new methods of referring patients to the class. These innovations involve adorning treatment consent forms with program flyers as cover pages, as well as pop-up reminders to healthcare team members as they enter patient information into the computer. “It is important for us to continue to find more effective ways to allow all patients the opportunity to make the most of this treatment orientation class.  It is all part of reaching our ultimate goal of providing comprehensive patient care,” said Murphy, who is the lead researcher.

The International Cancer Education Conference is open to registered participants only.

About The Cancer Institute of New Jersey

The Cancer Institute of New Jersey ( is the state’s first and only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center dedicated to improving the detection, treatment and care of patients with cancer, and serving as an education resource for cancer prevention. CINJ’s physician-scientists engage in translational research, transforming their laboratory discoveries into clinical practice, quite literally bringing research to life.  To make a tax-deductible gift to support CINJ, call 732-235-8614 or visit CINJ is a Center of Excellence of UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. 

The CINJ Network is comprised of hospitals throughout the state and provides a mechanism to rapidly disseminate important discoveries into the community. Flagship Hospital: Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. Major Clinical Research Affiliate Hospitals: Carol G. Simon Cancer Center at Morristown Memorial Hospital, Carol G. Simon Cancer Center at Overlook Hospital, Cooper University Hospital and Jersey Shore University Medical Center. Affiliate Hospitals: Bayshore Community Hospital, CentraState Healthcare System, JFK Medical Center, Mountainside Hospital, Raritan Bay Medical Center, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital at Hamilton (CINJ at Hamilton), Saint Peter’s University Hospital, Somerset Medical Center, Southern Ocean County Hospital, The University Hospital/UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School*, and University Medical Center at Princeton. *Academic Affiliate



Michele Fisher


precision medicine at Rutgers Cancer Institute







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