Oncologic Emergencies

The lifespan of cancer survivors has increased over the years, in direct response to advancements in both cancer diagnosis and treatment options. The risk for associated oncologic complications has also increased, requiring that oncologic healthcare providers develop a strong knowledge base for identifying potential emergent complications and take actions to minimize such issues.

Nurses working with oncology patients are in a unique position to educate patients and their caregivers about these risk factors. Oncology nurses are not only delivering patient care but also participating in clinical trials and advancing cancer research. They are able to educate on preventive strategies, early symptom recognition, and available treatment options, all pivotal areas in enhancing both quantity (of life years) and quality of life.

Oncology patients can present with significant challenges for both healthcare providers and caregivers. Modern-day chemotherapies may cause potentially life-threatening oncologic emergencies. Nurses working with oncology patients must recognize signs and symptoms of such emergencies, and be knowledgeable in treatment therapies aimed at reducing these risks.

Questions? Check out our FAQs page and How Online IV Certification Works!


Upon completion of this course, the participant will be able to:

  1. Discuss risk factors for oncology emergencies in certain patient populations (cancer specific).
  2. Verbalize the pathophysiology and etiology behind various oncologic emergencies.
  3. Identify clinical signs and symptoms of the most common oncology emergencies.
  4. Outline nursing interventions associated with neutropenia precautions.
  5. Identify nursing guidelines for the administration of IV chemotherapy. 
  6. Discuss patient education regarding prevention of oncology emergencies (early symptom recognition).
  7. Verbalize critical differences between hypersensitivity reactions and anaphylaxis.
  8. Describe the oncology nurse’s role in promoting compassionate end-of-life care and the correct treatment for the (advanced stage) oncology patient.


Chapter 1: Tumor Lysis Syndrome

Chapter 2: Febrile Neutropenia

Chapter 3: Superior Vena Cava Syndrome

Chapter 4: Malignant Pericardial Effusion

Chapter 5: Syndrome of Inappropriate Antidiuretic Hormone

Chapter 6: Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation

Chapter 7: Hypercalcemia of Malignancy

Chapter 8: Extravasation of Chemotherapy

Chapter 9: Infusion Reactions (Hypersensitivity and Anaphylactic) 

  • Stevens Johnson Syndrome and Toxic Epidermal Necrosis (SJS/TEN)

Price: $15.00

Contact Hours: 1.5

Course Author

Maureen Sullivan-Tevault

Maureen graduated nursing school in 1981 and has spent her years in the Emergency and Trauma field, including nursing positions as the Emergency Department Manager, Director of Staff Education, Trauma Coordinator, Cardiology Nurse Navigator, and Stroke Program Manager.

Read Full Bio

Course Accreditation

See our Accreditation Statements page to view our accreditation information.

Ready to begin?

Go to the student dashboard.

Not sure what courses you need?

Browse our course catalog!