There are so many ways you can help make a difference in the lives of patients and families today.
When assessing your clients, it is important to ask questions, yet the most important question to ask is:
“What do I need to know about you as a person to give you the best care possible?”
This question is a simple, open-ended question also known as The Patient Dignity Question (PDQ) and we encourage you to incorporate into your daily practice. This question helps to identify concerns and stressors that may be important to consider when planning and delivering someone’s care and treatment.
It can be a challenge to complete a thorough assessment of a patient, and identify areas of need, when at the end of it all you may have limited resources and options to offer, both within the hospital and the community. We know you want to provide meaningful support, therefore, give some thought to what you are assessing and how you can follow-up accordingly.
Be mindful as to how you will respond to certain answers.
Some questions you may ask yourself include:
Below are some relevant tools you may find useful when assessing the needs of your patients and caregivers; these resources are relevant and useful to the brain tumour population. These tools are already validated, easy to use and can be used in a variety of settings, disease processes and stages.
As radiation therapists, we are at the front line of the delivery of technical cancer care, but are also uniquely positioned to offer supportive, empathic care – ‘high touch’ care as well as ‘high tech’ care. In an era of personalized medicine, we can also work to deliver personalized attention to each patient. Each will have unique needs in terms of side effects, emotional distress and coping, navigating the system, and otherwise juggling their diagnosis and other aspects of their life. For patients receiving radiotherapy for brain tumours, there are considerations to help provide the best experience possible.
This document contains a list of things that can be kept in mind when working with people receiving brain radiotherapy. It is hoped that it can serve as a valuable reflective tool for healthcare professionals.