A patient arriving for their first Radiotherapy appointment can exhibit an array of behaviours, such as anxiety or aggression, which are generated by intense emotions. Each patient will have their own individual concerns and their needs should be addressed, to make their first experience in the Radiotherapy Department as smooth and stress free as possible.
The radiographer's role at this point is undoubtedly to provide patients with information, whilst demonstrating a compassionate and genuine nature. This can make all the difference to the way a patient reacts and copes with the entire course of radiotherapy.
The skills that will allow a radiographer to handle these situations are, in the first instance; good communication skills, but in addition to this the development of some basic counselling skills could further enhance patient care.
The aim of this article is to discuss the benefits of utilising basic counselling skills to create the best environment possible for the patient, and possibly answer some questions about their legitimate nature.