An online Continuing Education (CE) activity, “Optimizing Treatment of Carcinoid Syndrome in Patients with NETs,” is available for health professionals and should also be shared by patients with their providers. The program runs through March 8, 2019. Reflecting the most current knowledge in helping patients manage carcinoid syndrome, this free, 48-minute CE activity is jointly offered by the Postgraduate Institute for Medicine and i3 Health.
Says Pam Ryan, RN, BSN, Nurse Manager at the Neuroendocrine Tumor Program & Infusion Center at Ochsner Medical Center, New Orleans, and one of the activity’s faculty, “Carcinoid syndrome and NETs are so complex and intricate that you have to make sure you are aware of all the pathophysiologies when you have a NET patient. It’s incumbent upon us as health care providers to stay up to date.”
Ms. Ryan and Donna Collins Williams, RN, Senior Research Nurse at Stanford Medicine, California, are the co-teachers of the program, which is targeted to oncology nurses, nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists and other healthcare professionals involved in the management of carcinoid syndrome in patients with NETs and is designed to help these health professionals:
Ms. Ryan and Ms. Williams are uniquely well-suited to teaching this program. They have each been working with NETs patients for more than a decade. “Pam is on the surgical side at Ochsner,” says Ms. Williams, “and I am on the medical side, working with symptom management. It’s like that old story about what an elephant looks like. When different people are touching different parts of the elephant – by bringing different knowledge bases to the table – you see the whole in new ways.”
“Most oncology doctors don’t see 30 patients in a career, but we see 30 new patients each month and perform surgery on about 150 patients a year,” says Ms. Ryan, adding, “Symptoms are so vague they can mimic other diseases.” “That’s why diagnosis is so often delayed,” says Ms. Williams, and that is why, she says, “the education of primary care practice providers is critical to adequately diagnosing those with NETs. This in turn leads to effective treatment of patients. There is a real knowledge gap in the lay community we hope to target with this education activity.”
And although the disease is rare, “the disease isn’t as rare as people think,” says Ms. Williams. The education effort is working. “More people are being diagnosed as more health practitioners are learning how to recognize NETs and carcinoid syndrome.”
“Optimizing Management of Carcinoid Syndrome in Patients with NETs” is available through March 8, 2019 and can be accessed through https://www.carcinoid.org/cme/carcinoid-syndrome/ and also at https://www.i3health.com/carcinoid-syndrome.