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Scripps Clinic nurse to receive 2010 ASTRO Nurse Excellence Award

The American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) recently selected Elizabeth A. Brunton, R.N., M.S.N., O.C.N., of Scripps Clinic in La Jolla, Calif., as the recipient of the 2010 ASTRO Nurse Excellence Award. This award is presented annually to a registered nurse who goes above and beyond the normal standards of nursing practice. Brunton will receive the award, a $1,000 grant, during the nurse's welcome and orientation luncheon being held October 31, 2010, as a part of ASTRO's 52nd Annual Meeting in San Diego.

Brunton received her Bachelor of Science in nursing from the University of California, Los Angeles, and her Master of Science in nursing from Case Western University in Cleveland. She is the lead nurse and primary nurse in the radiation oncology department at Scripps Clinic and Scripps Green Hospital where she has worked since 1986. In her daily role at Scripps, Brunton is responsible for assessing the daily physical, nutritional and emotional needs of radiation therapy patients and assuring optimal patient care.

At Scripps, Brunton is a passionate advocate for patient education. She worked across departments at Scripps to develop patient education materials on radiation therapy to help patients and their families better understand the life-saving treatment. In 2009, she also created a patient education orientation program for new patients. The course educates patients and their families about all aspects of radiation therapy including physics, nursing, therapy and simulation. Participants are asked to evaluate the course afterward and the results are reported as part of Scripps' quality improvement process.

Brunton also assists cancer patients during the transition from being actively on treatment to becoming cancer survivors. She initiated a procedure in the radiation oncology department to ensure that all patients now receive information regarding their stage, pertinent test results and specific information regarding their disease.

In addition to patient education, Brunton helps educate her nurse colleagues. She is a regular speaker at ASTRO nurse meetings as well as local Oncology Nursing Society events. For her presentation, "Mucositis Patient Pain or Nurse's Bain," at ASTRO's Annual Meeting in 2005, Brunton received the highest evaluation ratings within ASTRO for that year.

"Nursing is an integral part of the radiation oncology treatment team, ensuring that patients receive the best, safest and most compassionate care as they cope with cancer. Elizabeth Brunton is a wonderful example of radiation oncology nursing," Anthony Zietman, M.D., ASTRO president, said. "I am honored we are able to recognize her with this award."


Contact: Beth Bukata
American Society for Radiation Oncology

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