Oncology Services

5 East provides highly skilled nursing care to acutely ill patients. This is a dynamic and evolving nursing unit with knowledge of human health derived from research, theory and evidence-based practice. The primary focus is adult oncology patients who are admitted for aggressive chemotherapy or radiation therapy, pain management with terminal disease, or supportive care throughout the terminal illness process. Patients requiring acute and chronic management of oncology diseases, rheumatology diseases, hemodynamically stable neurologic, cardiac and respiratory diseases, new onset diabetes, and complex wound care patients are assigned to this 32-bed unit.

It is the staff's goal is to anticipate patient needs and exceed their expectations. All data that is obtained through the assessment process is formulated into a plan for patient care to establish treatment modalities and interventions. The plan of care, designed to ensure continuity of care, is accomplished by integration of multidisciplinary teams along all aspects of the continuum. The plan is based both on the needs of the patients served and the mission of MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital. Goals and outcomes are established by disciplines to identify needs and prioritize care.

5 East's nursing staff has many opportunities to participate in ongoing educational activities to acquire advanced knowledge of psychological and therapeutic modalities specific to the care of our patients. Our approach has been developed to promote positive outcomes and ensure that care meets the needs of each patient.

Meet the Oncology Patient Care Manager


Art Bowhall, RN
5 East

Q: What is your educational background/experience?
A: I started nursing in 1976 in the emergency department, and obtained my RN in 1986. I also have experience as a case manager. Since 1998, I have focused on acute and sub-acute rehab as a patient care coordinator/assistant manager. I have an AS in computer science and an AAS in nursing. I am working on my BSN/MSN in nursing.

Q: What is the care philosophy of your unit?
A: The needs and safety of our patients are our priority; we work together as a team to provide very good care to each patient entrusted to us.

Q: What types of patients do you care for on your unit?
A: Patients on 5 East are varied, including oncology, rheumatology, patients who require renal dialysis, as well as patients with general medical/surgical diagnoses.

Q: What type of clinical ladders/professional growth opportunities do you offer?
A: On the clinical ladder that MedStar Good Samaritan is invested in, nurses have the opportunity to work towards climbing the clinical ladder, and are given the tools and resources to assist them in achieving and maintaining an advanced ranking. Educational opportunities exist for the staff, to enable them to pursue personal and professional advancement.

Q: What is your nurse/patient ratio?
A: Days/evenings are between 6-5:1; nights are somewhat higher at 7:1 with a full census.

Q: What is your skill mix?
A: RNs, LPNs, PSAs, and PCAs.

Q: What sort of credentials/certifications do your nurses have?
A: We have several chemo-certified nurses, many nurses with associate degrees, BSNs and a few working on master's degrees.

Q: What kind of support staff do you have?
A: MedStar Good Samaritan has a IV therapy team that also includes a number of people who work as phlebotomists.

Q: Does your staff participate on nursing shared-governance councils?
A: Yes, all staff members are encouraged to participate in the available councils, such as educational, and nursing practice council.

Q: What unit-based shared governance councils do you have?
A: We have an education council and a unit practice council, and the staff is working to initiate a number of other councils to give the staff the support and voice to achieve the goals of the unit and individuals.

Q: What is the best part of working on your unit?
A: I like hearing the ideas each staff member has and working together to incorporate them into building a team that has a solid strong foundation to provide a level of care that will meet and exceed the expectations of MedStar Good Samaritan, as well as those of the patients, families, and customers we work to serve.