Elevating the approach to Oncology Rehabilitation
The PORi Body Systems Approach
The physiological impact of cancer and oncology-related treatments is profound - it is crucially important that oncology rehabilitation providers address all of the patient's body systems that have been (or may be) affected by their cancer or its treatment. Our courses are designed to teach participants about the impact of cancer & cancer treatment on the Dermal, Myofascial, Skeletal, Lymphatic, Neural, Gastrointestinal, Myofacial, Urogenital, Pulmonary and Cardiovascular systems. PORi's patient management algorithms and treatment protocols relate to the optimal resolution of functional impairment within these systems.
Setting the standard of care
There are over 17 million cancer survivors within the US alone. Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists, and Speech Language Pathologists have a responsibility to implement standardized care, and evidence-based treatment to this patient population. However, Cancer Rehabilitation is not routinely taught in PT/OT/SLP curricula and often patients are being referred to "generalist" PT/OT/SLP, who do not have the specialized knowledge to treat this complex patient population. PORi aims to set the standard of care for this complex and rewarding patient population.
Our mission is to elevate the practice of oncology rehabilitation. We provide specialist courses that combine a deep understanding of the physiological impact of cancer and its related treatments on the body with the practical clinical skill set needed to treat this unique and complex patient population; we help practices build oncology rehabilitation service lines on a foundation of excellent clinical care; we aim to to help patients identify providers that have the specialist skills they need through our PORi-certification process.
Our goal is to make Oncology Rehabilitation the norm for all patients with a cancer diagnosis
The PORi Oncology Rehabilitation Continuing Education Curriculum
Foundation in Oncology Rehabilitation
This course is a pre-requisite for any of the subsequent PORi “Core” or PORi Adjunct Course modules. The course is didactic and open to all providers. Generally, we will arrange CEU credits for PT/OT/SLP depending on specific state requirements within the USA. International participants, Physicians, Nurses, Exercise Physiologists and other interested providers may also attend and can submit for CEUs individually to their governing bodies, if required.
The course teaches participants about cancer-related surgeries, patient sequalae resulting from chemotherapy and radiation therapy, and provides a clinical overview of oncologic emergencies. The course includes sections on the physiological effect of cancer treatments and an introduction to PORi-specific treatment techniques, including exercise prescription. There is also instruction on integrating the chronic disease model of care into the PT/OT/SLP management system, and how to integrate documentation of this patient population to meet CMS and health insurance requirements. Lastly, there will be an overview of how oncology rehabilitation fits into the legislative and clinical framework around oncology patients.
The PORi-specific treatment models would be built didactically, giving participants the grounding needed to participate in the “Core” modules.
In addition, this course will provide acute care/inpatient therapists with clinical guidelines and a greater understanding of the oncology patients they will be caring for in an acute/inpatient setting.
PORi Adjunct Modules
The PORi Adjunct Courses do not form part of the core curriculum but are ancillary courses for therapists who feel they wish to delve more deeply into a topic related to one of the courses they have already done or look to add specialist knowledge in a less common area such as vestibular or dry needling.
PORi Adjunct modules will usually build off one or more PORi Core courses and will either focus in on a specific oncology diagnosis that hasn't directly been covered in one of the PORi Core courses, or a particular therapy intervention to address one or more cancer treatment side-effects or sequalae resulting from cancer that can span multiple cancer diagnoses.
PORi Core Course Modules
These courses will build on the PORi Foundation in Oncology Rehabilitation course. There will be a re-emphasis of some of the material already covered to ensure participants have a strong grasp of the information they will need in a clinical setting.
There will be a significant emphasis on lab sessions, including live and/or video patient presentations and class lab sessions where participants can practice and/or discuss the techniques they learn to ensure proficiency.
Three of the PORi CORE courses focus on specific oncology diagnoses: Breast Cancer, Head & Neck Cancer or Pelvic Cancers & Lower Extremity, and the fourth focuses on the effects of chemotherapy and is applicable to patients with any cancer diagnosis, including those diagnoses covered on a focused CORE course.
At the end of each module, participants will need to pass a written and, in most cases, a practical examination in a live or live-virtual treatment session with a patient volunteer and the course instructor.
PORi CORE: Disease Site Specialty Courses
There will be a recap of some of the material already covered on the Foundation course to ensure participants have a strong grasp of the information they will need in a clinical setting. While there are therapeutic exercise facets to these courses, the primary treatment techniques taught during these courses will be manual therapy-based. In addition, there will be a significant emphasis on lab sessions, including live and/or video patient presentations which include patient interviewing, assessment, manual therapy treatment techniques and reassessment. In-person courses will allow therapist to have hands-on experience and we encourage virtual students to have a lab partner available during the course to promote tactile learning at home.
PORi CORE: Therapy Intervention Course
While there are some manual therapy elements to the Chemotoxicity & Cancer Exercise Management PORi CORE course, the focus is much more exercise prescription and neurologic interventions to address chemotoxicity symptoms, such as cancer-related fatigue, chemo-induced peripheral neuropathy, de-conditioning, balance, strength, and cardiovascular endurance. There will be a strong focus on live and/or video patient presentations where participants can practice the PORi exercise prescription protocols they are learning.
Setting the Standard.
ONCOLOGY REHABILITATION COURSES
PORi offers a comprehensive curriculum in Oncology Rehabilitation for Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists and Speech Language Pathologists. With an emphasis on live patient presentations, practical clinical skills and a deep physiological understanding of the oncology patient, PORi is equipping therapists to treat this unique and incredibly rewarding patient population.
ONCOLOGY REHABILITATION CERTIFICATION
PORi's curriculum is designed to enable therapists to build their oncology rehabilitation expertise through an interlinked suite of PORi Core Course Modules and several Adjunct Course Modules. Each module is an assessment-based certificate program and, in addition, once a therapist completes certain module combinations and has a consistent oncology practice, they are designated as a PORi Oncology Rehabilitation Specialist.
PORi CENTER of EXCELLENCE
Once a facility/location has at least two current PORi-certified Oncology Rehabilitation Specialists or at least one PORi Oncology Rehabilitation Therapist in each Core discipline, they will be designated a “PORi Center of Excellence”. For a health system, once at least 75% of their locations in a region are PORi Centers of Excellence, the entire regional system can be designated a PORi Center of Excellence.
ONCOLOGY REHABILITATION SERVICE LINE DEVELOPMENT
PORi has a suite of services that we can offer health systems and facilities looking to develop an oncology rehabilitation service line. If you are a HCA-affiliated or Sarah Cannon facility, we have several existing contracts in place to develop your comprehensive oncology rehabilitation service line. For other health systems, we can customize our offering to provide assistance at any stage of your oncology rehabilitation service line development.
Oncology Rehabilitation should be prescribed to all patients who undergo treatment for cancer, as a standard component of their cancer treatment. Rehabilitation is a medical intervention in conjunction with a cancer patient's Chemotherapy, Surgical, and Radiation plan of care.
The four Key Elements of Medical Care for Patients with an Oncology Diagnosis
Comprehensive oncology rehabilitation is an integral part of cancer care. In 2020, the American College of Surgeons' Commission on Cancer, which is the accrediting body for Cancer Program accreditation recognized the increased role that rehabilitation needs to play in cancer care by creating a new standard:
2020 Commission on Cancer - Standard 4.6: Rehabilitation Care Services
Rehabilitation care is patient-centered care that optimizes patient functional status and quality of life through preventative, restorative, supportive, and palliative interventions. The availability of rehabilitation care services is an essential component of comprehensive cancer care, beginning at the time of diagnosis and being continuously available throughout treatment, surveillance, and, when applicable, through end of life
The Oncologists, Surgeons and Radiation Oncologists' role is to save or prolong a cancer patient's life... Our role as oncology rehabilitation specialists is to provide improvements to patients' quality of life.
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A community of oncology-specialized Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists, and Speech Language Pathologists.
We want everyone who has taken a PORi course to be part of our community. If we work together, we can make sure rehab becomes the norm for patients diagnosed with cancer. It's really important that we grow this specialty of oncology rehabilitation within our professions.
Our patients deserve it.
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