IntroductionRadiodermatitis is a side effect of chemoradiotherapy characterized by erythema warmth burning

IntroductionRadiodermatitis is a side effect of chemoradiotherapy characterized by erythema, warmth, burning, and itching, and painful ulceration or necrosis in worse cases; as such, it may interfere with the chemoradiotherapy schedule and impair the quality of life of patients (Cui, Xin, Yin, Zhang, Han, 2015; & Rao et al., 2017). In this reflection paper, the nursing student will be describing her experience of taking care of a cancer patient with radiodermatitis and the implication that a new emerging evidence-based practice has in the treatment of loss of skin integrity in this type of disease in the nursing profession. Background/Description of PatientThis nursing student took care of Mr. X, a 42-year-old male patient with a history of nasopharyngeal carcinoma which was diagnosed two years ago. This patient was seen due to short of breath and worsening submandibular pain related to neck swelling. AnalysisUpon the nursing student assessment, patient’s vital signs were found within normal limits (HR: 78; RR: 18; BP: 139/80; SpO2: 99%) and no acute respiratory distress was found. When the nurse asked the patient about his pain level, he described it as a 7 on the scale of 0 to 10. Also, the nursing student, while she was assessing Mr. X, found that this patient also presented loss of skin integrity due to radiation therapy in his submandibular area with a grade of inflammation of 2. The patient’s laboratory data were normal as well, with no signs of infection.Mr. X stated that since he had his fourth round of chemoradiotherapy about two weeks ago this radiodermatitis started to appear in his face. He said that sometimes it could be very painful and itches a lot. While the nursing student was assessing this patient, she was able to notice how uncomfortable this patient feels with the way his face looks base on the patient’s nonverbal expressions. Mr. X also stated that he has not been able to find relief for his dermatitis. He has tried a lot of medicines that have not helped improve his skin problem. Care of PatientThe nurse administered the pain medicine that was ordered by the ER doctor to Mr. X. Mr. X asked the nursing student to provide him lukewarm water mixed with gentle soap to wash his face because it started to itch. He said that it is the only thing that he can use to momentarily improve the itching because everything else that he had tried made his skin worse. SummaryA patient, Mr. X, is a 42-year-old male with a history of nasopharyngeal carcinoma diagnosed two years ago. This patient is undergoing chemoradiotherapy and had developed radiotherapy dermatitis which he has not found any relieve for. The nursing student, concern about her patient’s and other patient’s loss of skin integrity due to chemoradiodermatitis, decided to learn more about this skin disease and to search in the literature for new evidence related to nonpharmacological therapies.ReflectionAfter caring for Mr. X, I wanted to learn more about radiodermatitis and decided to look up the literature about new non-pharmacological treatment for this type of skin disease. I found one specific randomized blinded clinical trial that found olive oil as a promising and safe candidate as a prophylactic treatment option for radiodermatitis (Cui et al., 2015). Cui et al., 2015, stated that the olive oil has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties which have shown positive results for the prevention of acute skin lesions caused by radiodermatitis in patients with nasopharyngeal carcinoma. This is great news, because olive oil is easily accessible and affordable by the patient and a health care organization, and hopefully it will be used as a standard of care soon.During this experience, I learned how important if for us, nurses and future nurses, to understand that we are here to provide holistic care to our patients. We should constantly be proactive and find time to look up new non-pharmacological evidence-based interventions in the literature that will help nurses, other healthcare provider, and their organization guide decision making in their clinical practice in order to improve the quality of care with therapies that are less costly. In our role as educators, nurses must provide patients and their families with information on general skin care, when to expect skin reactions to occur, signs and symptoms of infection, and the need to report those significant findings to their healthcare team (Rao et al., 2017), as well with information related to special diets that will help the healing process of the skin which has been damaged with chemoradiotherapy.

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