The oncology department is located in a General Public Hospital, a county emergency hospital in Alba Iulia, the capital of Alba county, Romania. It is the only oncology department in the whole county (covering 350,000 inhabitants) and has its own recently-renovated facilities within the hospital.
The department structure includes five services: an out-patient clinic (with three out-patient consulting rooms and a spacious waiting room), one day-care-ward (comprising 17 day-chemotherapy chairs), a palliative care unit (with six beds), haematology ward (with five beds) and oncology in-patient-ward (with 25 beds). A multidisciplinary team includes five doctors, nurses, nurse-aids, psychologist, social worker and the hospital priest, as well as all the patients’ spiritual caregivers.
The doctors’ team is represented by three full-time medical oncologists, with a competency in palliative care, one full-time haematologist and one full-time specialist doctor with a competency in palliative care. The department treat more than 1,000 patients a year, with all tumour types and cares for more than 2,500 patients a year in the day-care ward.
The day-care facilities include proper monitoring and care by staff nurses, consultants who are in touch at all times with the patients’ conditions and on-hand life-support facilities.
In-patient facilities in the palliative care unit include three rooms with two beds each, a private bathroom, and a single-bed room for terminal cases, offering the needed privacy for such moments. The oncology and haematology in-patient-ward includes eight rooms with four beds each, and a semi-private bathroom (one bathroom per two rooms). The oncology department provides 24-hour comprehensive, individualised nursing care for in-patients based on their assessed nursing needs.
All nurses are well-qualified and experienced with a commitment to patient care. Nursing care is collaborated with the health team in rendering total-health care. Diet is an integral part of patient medication. Dieticians in association with the care-physician assess the diet needs. Psychological and spiritual counselling is offered to patients and family members, including after-death counselling at request.
Medical activity includes chemotherapy, supportive and palliative care, with a high interest and competency in pain-control and evaluating and approaching total pain and hemato-oncology care. We are enrolled in many clinical trials in oncology.
Areas of specialisation
The department specialises in medical oncology, haematology and supportive and palliative care, psycho-socio-spiritual care, follow-up controls and continuity of care for cancer patients.
Palliative and supportive care
The vision of the palliative care department is to offer complex, holistic care, across all four main domains – medical, social, psychological and spiritual care – to patients and their families, in a hospital environment which the department strives to maintain as human and accessible as possible.
The highest professional standards of care are delivered in a warm and friendly manner. Staff are on a continuous learning process of how to be more empathetic toward the patient and his/her family and try to find solutions for the various problems they confront each and every day.
Professionally, they offer specialist advices and support to colleagues and doctors from the hospital and from outside for different situations requiring palliative care and symptom control at home or for scheduling an admission, respectively. The team is involved in the education of fellows in palliative care, offering a generous literature resource via paper and electronic libraries.