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How do you know if a patient is experiencing negative affects of radiation?

Answer examples and advice for how to answer this interview question for a Radiation Therapists interview

How to Answer

What signs or symptoms are you looking for in your patients during treatment? As you track the rate of cancer cells growing and spreading, what should you keep in mind about how the patient might be feeling? It's important for you to be able to interpret some of these physical signs of the patient for many reasons. Every person is different, and some people can tolerate more rounds of treatment than others. Describe some of the side effects and share any personal relevant experience you have with patients who have displayed any of these symptoms. What is your response when you notice these issues? How do you communicate with the patient about it?

How do you know if a patient is experiencing negative affects of radiation?

View user-submitted Answers

How do you know if a patient is experiencing negative affects of radiation?
1.
The most important thing I can do is listen to the patient. As we build rapport, I am usually the first person they will tell about unusual symptoms. I will always check for weight loss, especially if they are wearing a mask as an immobilization device because it will fit differently. I will also check for skin changes and if the patient is not verbal, I will make sure to ask if they observe unusual effects at least once or twice a week.
2.
Ask them how they are doing / if they've noticed any changes. Assess the problem, source of problem, how many treatments they've had, timing and severity of problems.
3.
Checking in frequently is important and monitoring any obvious physical changes. Listening to the patient helps me to get a better understand of how they’re feeling if something is wrong if I can’t see it myself. Doing frequent tests will keep me updated if anything changes for the worse.
4.
I would look them over while I was setting them up. I would ask how they were feeling on a day to day basis while seeing them for treatments.
5.
I respect every person and I would not treat them any different.
6.
Ask patient at every treatment if he is feeling unwell. Observe if there are any unwanted side effects.
7.
I don't understand this question.
8.
Checking the skin for any damage caused by the radiation beam, asking the patient if they're having any side effects at home (ie nausea, vomiting, diarrhea).
9.
Checking in frequently is important and monitoring any obvious physical changes. Listening to the patient helps me to get a better understand of how they’re feeling if something is wrong if I can’t see it myself. Doing frequent tests will keep me updated if anything changes for the worse.
10.
I keep an eye on all patients because all people react differently to radiation. Burns need to be seriously observed because it can be extremely harmful. Creams can be given with in depth instructions and if it gets worse I need to alert the oncologist so he can take a look and decide if a break in treatment is necessary.
11.
Being observant and asking questions.
12.
I would watch for burns or other signs of illness.
13.
Through their demeanor. How they act every day for treatment. Listening for what they have to say. What they look like daily such as breathing, color and etc.
14.
I would observe a patient by checking surrounding areas of any redness of their skin, moist or dry desquamation, or any areas that looked unusual from when they first started their treatment.

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