The real role of the rehab professional in oncology:
Patients experience side effects from various medical treatments & surgeries. And physical therapists are so good with helping the whole human heal from these various impairments.
But if this is the case, then why aren’t more PTs treating patients with cancer?
The answer is very multi-faceted:
- Many rehab pros don’t get oncology education in their schooling. While some schools are starting to incorporate oncology into their curriculum, this is still very rare.
- Many students learn cancer as a red flag. While this is true, this incites fear in the clinician when they encounter a patient with cancer. We’re told to refer back to the physician & close the note. But this doesn’t prepare us for when the patient comes back to us or is seeing us with a diagnosed cancer & happens to have musculoskeletal impairments.
Why you will NOT hurt the person with cancer when you treat them
These patients are tremendously more resilient than you probably think. Exercise is safe for these patients. Rehab is safe for these patients.
While there are some special considerations for these patients, we really have to be clear on the above first.
Some things people are nervous about include bone metastases & blood counts. But there are very clear guidelines on how to approach these.
How to feel confident & competent when treating these patients, even if you’re all alone
Having knowledge is just the first step. Finding a community of therapists treating oncology patients is one of the best ways to really get secure in your practice.
One of the most important things for us when creating this course is the community aspect, which is exactly why we’re continuing the learning experience after our students finish the Cancer Basics 2-Day Intensive Course.
More from This Episode:
Register for the Cancer Basics 2-Day Intensive Course, happening August 26-27!
Check out A Focused Review of Safety Considerations in Cancer Rehabilitation by Maltser et al., 2017.
Grab your FREE copy of a Quick Guide to Treating People with Cancer.