In February, twelve Registered Nurses who are taking coursework to attain their Baccalaureate degree at Molloy College participated in a training course offered through the Maurer Foundation to expand their knowledge of breast health. This daylong training program covered vital areas such as breast cancer diagnosis and The process of determining whether cancer has spread and, if so, how far. Although there is more than one system for staging, the TNM system provides three important pieces of information: T - referring to the size of the Tumor, N - describing how far the cancer has spread to nearby Nodes and M - showing whether the cancer has spread or Metastasized to other organs of the body. Letters or numbers after the T, N, and M provide a patient with more details about each of these factors. The TNM descriptions can also be grouped together into Stages labeled with Roman numerals. In general, the lower the number, the less the cancer has spread. The higher the number, the more serious the cancer is., Anything that increases or decreases a person’s chance of developing a disease. affecting breast cancer development, and an intense review of methods of early detection.
Although many of these nurses have been working in the medical field for more than ten years, they expressed surprise about how much they learned during this modified version of the Maurer Foundation Training and Certification program.
Much of the day focused on learning about early detection, including guidelines for breast cancer screenings and an in depth review of the MammaCare method of breast exam. The nurses learned the proper method of breast examination by practicing on silicone breast models containing embedded lumps. The nurses’ skill level was tested with covered models to determine their proficiency. Their training was further enhanced through the utilization of a lamp designed to score the user on their breast palpation technique.
In their role as patient educator, these nurses will be able to more effectively teach people how to lower their risks for developing breast cancer through healthy lifestyle choices. The nurses plan on hosting a health fair on campus to teach their fellow students and faculty members how to take charge of their breast health.