Patients as Peer Preceptors for Orthopedic Oncology Rehabilitation Patients

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Abstract

This article describes a peer preceptor program that trains patients who have experienced limb preservation surgeries and managed long-term rehabilitative therapy to support and teach newly diagnosed patients through their rehabilitation. This preceptor program was designed to complement the professional counseling and support that rehabilitation staff provide to patients and their families. Training includes communication techniques, practice sessions using videotaped scenes of patients and their families, as well as role-playing. Experienced patients who became preceptors as a result of this program were orthopedic oncology patients who had completed limb preservation surgery, chemotherapy, grafting, and physical therapies. After their training, preceptors exhibited improved communication skills in terms of empathy, listening, and voice expressions. Initiatives designed to make the preceptor program self-sustaining by having staff nurses manage the training still have to be tested.

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