Joondalup: Tafe students learn handy skills to aid cancer patients

Joondalup: Tafe students learn handy skills to aid cancer patients

TAFE students are helping to pamper patients going through cancer treatment in Joondalup.

Beauty students from North Metropolitan Tafe have been going to Genesis Cancer Care once a week to give free massages to people undergoing radiation and chemotherapy.

Lecturer Kerry Brown brings students to Shenton House for a couple of hours on Thursdays during the semester to pamper patients.

“It’s part of the learning experience as well – communication; awareness of health and wellness,” she said.

Nurse unit manager Sharon Ray said the benefits had been “enormous” for patients.

“There’s a little bit of waiting around, not so much with radiation patients but definitely for the chemo patients, so it is something to do while they are waiting,” she said.

“They are going through an awful lot of treatment and it’s just hard.

“They get to have a little bit of time out, a little bit of conversation and a little bit of pampering.

“It’s one of the best win-win situations we can get; it’s providing the young girls an opportunity to meet people who are going through a tough time and learn to speak to them.”

Patient Carole Hyde said she had been getting massages during the five weeks she received treatment for breast cancer.

“It’s so lovely to just be pampered after having medical treatment and thinking about your disease and your situation,” the Sorrento resident said.

“It helps with the relaxation; it makes you feel normal and good about yourself.”

Mrs Hyde said she appreciated the initiative, which exposed students to therapy on patients that they might not otherwise experience.

“They wouldn’t be exposed to the medical side,” she said.

Having finished her radiation treatment, Mrs Hyde said she would continue to get massages from students through the beauty clinic at the Tafe campus, which is open to the public on Thursdays and Fridays.

Run as a trial last semester, the success of the pampering service means it will resume from late July.

Lucy Jarvis