Multiprofessional Care Integration Challenges


Practical Implications for the Patient in Treatment for Head and Neck Tumours

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June 19th 2023 - July 3rd 2023
Hugo Estibeiro (MD) , 
Maria Caçador (MD, PhD)
Due to their location, Head and Neck cancers will compromise essential functions as breathing, chewing, swallowing, speaking, seeing, hearing or smelling. The aggressiveness of their behaviour requires therapeutic protocols (often including surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy) which also cause anatomical defects, high morbidity and risk of life.

The general training of nurses and doctors focuses mainly on the diagnosis, staging and treatment of the tumour, generally with a reduced practical training on complications of the treatments or dealing with the devices used to ensure, in a temporary or definitive way, the respiration or nutritional intake. Likewise, most of these professionals are surprised by the practical difficulty of communicating with a voice-deprived patient.

This course aims to establish a bridge between theoretical knowledge and clinical practice. It aims to teach how to predict, identify and intervene in the most frequent complications of surgical techniques, radiotherapy and chemotherapy. It will teach how to handle tracheotomy cannulas, voice prostheses, nasogastric tubes or gastrostomy material, and teach how to identify and solve the main problems that can occur with these devices. The importance of teaching the patient and family members handling these devices will also be highlighted, and we will discuss the most effective methodologies for this goal.
  • Doctors or Residents ENT, Radiotherapy, Chemotherapy, Maxillofacial Surgery or General and Family Medicine, or other specialties that deal directly or indirectly with this type of patient.
  • Nurses
  • Speech therapists
  1. Detect and solve surgical complications in patients with head and neck cancer
  2. Understand and identify different forms of tracheotomy-indications, technical differences and risks
  3. Contactwithtracheotomymaterialandvoiceprostheses,includingcleaningmaterialandother accessories
  4. Understandingswallowingmechanisms
  5. Identify treatment’s side effects
  6. Recognize the different forms of nutritional support
  7. Dealing with nasogastric tube, gastrostomy material and parenteral feeding
  8. Teaching the patient and family members how to handle these devices
  9. Identify and solve radiotherapy complications
  10. Be able to detect and solve chemotherapy complications
  11. Provide communication strategies with voice-deprived patients
Degree in:
  • Medicine
  • Nursing
  • SpeechTherapy