A different type of poster presented during the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) Congress shared how one nurse used her creativity for good while also showing her patients she cares about them in a unique way.
Casey Schade-Villanueva, RN, BSN, OCN, PCCN, who created the project, explained: “I work on a busy oncology unit and I wanted to do something to support my patients beyond their bedside care. I had an idea to make retractable badge holders out of medicine vial caps. I started collecting these medicine vial caps from my unit and used them to create different designs for the badge reel, such as flowers, animals, movie characters, etc.”
The badges were sold for $10 in person, and $11.99 in an Etsy shop, so off-shift staff and the general public could purchase them. As the badges grew in popularity, so did demand, requiring Schade-Villanueva to ask different units for caps to use, too.
A small fee for production costs is taken, and then the funds collected from badge sales are donated to different nonprofit organizations that help people affected by cancer, including Be The Match, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance, National LGBT Cancer Network, and more.
“My goal for Caps4Cancers is to raise money for nonprofits that support those affected by cancer. I want to reduce waste by reusing and repurposing medicine vial caps, and I hope to improve my staff resiliency and job satisfaction, and create an impact on the oncology community,” said Schade-Villanueva.
To date the project, which kicked off in May 2019, has raised more than $15,000 in donations, with 1,850 badges sold. Nearly 90 pounds of plastic have been rescued, and 83% of staff said they feel an increased sense of resiliency and job satisfaction.
An intangible outcome of the effort is the response from cancer survivors. One survivor, identified as SF, said, “As a cancer survivor, you have warmed my heart today. I looked at the photos of all the badges made from caps and all the bags of caps, and it felt like you had saved my caps, my dad’s caps, and my partner’s caps, too. Thank you so much for all you are doing. It makes a true difference.”
To support Caps4Cancers visit www.etsy.com/shop/caps4cancers.