Did you know that there are specialized oncologist nurses who work specifically with elderly patients that are diagnosed with cancer? These nurses play a critical role in making sure that older patients are fulfilling all of their steps towards recovery. The process of being treated for and recovering from this debilitating disease requires attention to detail for all medications needed and the proper dosages. It is also vital to have a medical care professional to ensure that the patient is being scheduled for all of the required medical appointments and follow-up care.
Nurses are especially important when patients are diagnosed with more serious and rare types of cancer, like pleural mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a type of cancer caused by asbestos exposure. It triggers painful and uncomfortable symptoms, and because it is a fast-spreading cancer, it requires aggressive treatments. So, on top of the cancer symptoms, like difficulty breathing and chest pains, these patients also suffer through more severe treatment side effects. More than many other patients, they rely on nurses to provide some relief and comfort.
Some of the different types of cancer that nurses assist with in caring for the patient also include:
- Adrenal gland
The emotional bond that senior patients share with their caregivers and nurses can play a huge role in helping them through the challenging recovery process. Studies have shown that patients who receive adequate support and are encouraged to talk with others about their feelings during the recovery process are more likely to avoid difficult mental health issues and have more emotional energy to focus on recovery. Having a trusted confidant makes some patients feel more social and less alone throughout the entire process.
One of the most fundamental ways that nurses provide for patients during treatment and recovery is that they make their experience less painful and more comfortable. They can assist with finding ways to help the patient relax so that they get a good night’s sleep and are better equipped to deal with the physical demands of treatment. Given that nurses are educated in healthy diets and other habits, they are able to provide guidance on what types of food and exercise may be best to help someone going through this process stay as physically fit and healthy as possible. This can make a big difference in terms of the total recovery time that a patient must endure before getting the notice that they are in remission and can resume their daily activities.
In addition, nurses prevent patients from suffering a wide range of complications that can accompany the treatment and recovery process. For example, many patients may experience dehydration. It can become increasingly difficult for some patients to be able to drink and hold down fluids as the treatment process progresses. Nurses are trained to spot the initial signs of dehydration and can act quickly to get the patient hooked up to an IV treatment for fluids or encourage them to drink water on their own.
Another factor that can make going through treatment more difficult for a patient is that they may experience nausea and vomiting at some points. A nurse is trained to recognize the signs and respond proactively to reduce the chance that the patient will actually vomit. This is important because it can wreak havoc on the patient’s throat and stomach. Continuous vomiting can also lead to dehydration, which will weaken the patient’s entire system. By recognizing which foods to cook and how to remove triggers from the patient’s environment that may make them more susceptible for vomiting, nurses are a critical component in making sure that each patient has the best shot at recovery and is not derailed by some of the more aggressive side effects of treatment.
In sum, the services provided by a skilled nurse to a patient undergoing treatment and recovery are invaluable in maintaining their quality of life and managing the unpleasant side effects that many senior patients experience. The ability for senior patients to depend on a trusted nurse during this difficult time in their lives is something that can have a profound effect on their emotional state and energy levels during the recovery process.
Article by Sherry Collins: Accomplished editor and author in cancer studies and research.