Many patients that hear the words “you have cancer” enter our doors at Turville Bay Radiation Oncology Center. They are often apprehensive, overwhelmed, and sometimes fearful initially. During our first consultation we begin to address those emotions with patient centered care. At Turville Bay, my colleagues and I believe that medical skills and technology are best delivered with emotional support, physical support, and the involvement of family and friends when possible. Radiation therapy requires state of the art technology combined with a highly trained team of people. Our consultations allow plenty of time for patients to talk, absorb new information, and ask questions. Patients accustomed to a more passive role in their healthcare are often surprised by our conversations. As we sort through information together, we build relationships between patients and staff. Why this emphasis on relationships? We believe it’s best for the patient, and we’re not alone.
Research shows that the quality of personal, professional, and organizational relationships matters in healthcare and never more than when serious illness arises. Patients that are active participants in their care do better. If we are mindful, empathetic and informative with a patient we find solidarity and a healthy collaboration begins. It promotes communication about things that matter and in turn lifts the fog of apprehension. And feeling understood may contribute to better self-care during treatment. Together we strive to improve their health through treatment and into recovery.