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How do you know if a patient is experiencing negative affects of radiation?
User Submitted Interview Answers
Ask patient at every treatment if he is feeling unwell. Observe if there are any unwanted side effects.
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.
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).
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.
I would watch for burns or other signs of illness.
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.
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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.
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.
Being observant and asking questions.