OT in Oncology and Haematology
There is an Occupational Therapy service specialising in these clinical areas. The therapists are based on Mulbarton Ward.
Oncology is the general term for cancers in the form of tumours in the body. Haematology refers to cancers of the blood such as leukaemia.
At different stages in these conditions, a persons quality of life can be affected in many ways, either through the illness itself or the side effects of treatment.
As well as assessing a persons physical abilities, occupational therapists have a wider focus on a persons quality of life. We use a holistic problem-solving approach to analyse a persons needs and we tailor our intervention to enable them to cope with their current difficulties. Illness can create physical, psychological, spiritual, social and financial difficulties. Family and carers are involved as appropriate in this process. Priorities and goals for our treatment are identified together with the patient, which are personal to each case.
Our priority for intervention during your hospital admission is to provide assessment and support to plan your discharge to your preferred discharge destination. This is usually to a patients own home.
This could include assessment of personal and domestic activities that are necessary for daily living. For example, we may practice a particular activity with you to improve your confidence, to try equipment with you that may make the task easier, to provide advice on technique, to improve your independence or to assess how much support you will need in the community.
Occupational therapy is one part of the services provided by the multidisciplinary team of professionals that may see you during your stay and referral to us is usually made by the nursing staff. We work very closely with the other professionals, especially the physiotherapist, social worker and palliative care nurses. We also can communicate with, or refer you to professionals in the community who can provide you with further support. If you are concerned about how you will cope at home after your hospital stay please mention this to the nursing staff as they can decide if a referral to Occupational Therapy is appropriate.
We recognise that as the illness progresses you may need considerably more support and help if you want to return home. In this situation we can often visit the home and provide equipment that will enable you to receive the appropriate care. We can also provide advice and support to yourself and your carers. The Occupational therapist works closely with the ward staff, social worker and other services to ensure you receive appropriate support and care at home in a timely fashion. It is paramount that the patient remains at the centre of all decisions during this process.
Occupational therapists can provide support in many ways, including:
- The use of functional every day activities to address physical, psychological and emotional issues.
- Provision of equipment to assist independence and safety.
- Home assessments.
- Energy conservation advice.
- Support and education for carers.
- Relaxation techniques and anxiety management.
- Assisting with emotional adjustment to the impact of illness.
- Liaising with community services.
A new relaxation group is meeting on Wednesdays at the Big C Cancer Information Centre . Six spaces are available for patients and carers, the sessions are run by the Occupational Therapy Team