Pain assessment: The role of the radiation therapist

26 Jul 2016

Purpose The focus of this study was to explore the possibility of extending the role of radiation therapists in Ghana to include pain assessment of the patients they are in daily contact with. The study was carried out at the radiation oncology department of a large teaching hospital where the circumstances demand the exploration of ways to maximise the effectiveness of the multidisciplinary team in the holistic care of cancer patients. Method A case study approach was used to gather text data through interviews (individual and focus group), participant observation and field notes (radiation therapist and researcher). Result By extending the role of the radiation therapist to include pain assessment; the quality of care to cancer patients improved, the workload of the few available radiation oncologists was reduced and patient satisfaction increased. Conclusion It is recommended that the role of the radiation therapists at the study site is extended to include pain assessment through the application of a structured protocol.