0201 723 6600

Background to the Outpatient Care Unit at WPE

The entire treatment situation during radiotherapy is stressful for the body. Especially if you as a patient are receiving other treatments – such as chemotherapy – at the same time.

And even though proton therapy generally has few side effects, it is not entirely side-effect-free. Although it spares the surrounding tissue thanks to its precisely focussed radiation exposure, typical radiation side effects can still occur. We have set up an Outpatient Care Unit at WPE to help you cope well with these side effects (or avoid them entirely) during your outpatient proton therapy. They will advise, support and assist you – before, during and, if necessary, after treatment.

What exactly will the Outpatient Care Unit help with?

The WPE Outpatient Care Unit provides preventive and therapeutic support for any side effects of proton therapy. These can include:

  • Local skin changes
  • Changes in the mucous membranes
  • Nausea and vomiting (mainly in combination with systemic chemotherapy)
  • Loss of appetite and resultant weight loss
  • Chronic tiredness, exhaustion, listlessness and fatigue syndrome

Our care experts use a wide range of preventive techniques to avoid or minimise these side effects typical of radiotherapy – always following proven scientific guidelines and in consultation with your case doctors.

Quick note

Our outpatient nursing staff are all registered nurses with a variety of qualifications:

  • Advanced nursing training in anaesthesia and intensive care
  • Advanced nursing training in oncology
  • Advanced nursing training in palliative care

Are you experiencing new side effects?

Speak directly to our outpatient care team before or after your treatment. You can also contact us by telephone

Outpatient Care Unit:

+49 (0) 201 723 6661

For emergencies outside of our opening hours, the emergency outpatient units at University Hospital Essen are available 24/7:

Emergency outpatient unit for adults:
+49 (0) 201 723 0

Emergency outpatient unit for children:
+49 (0) 201 723 3350 / 2255

Nursing rounds at WPE

In order to provide you with the best possible care during your proton therapy, our Outpatient Care Unit is a fully integrated part of general outpatient operations at WPE. As a patient, you’ll receive an appointment at your initial consultation, during which we’ll determine your physical condition.

In the further course of therapy, a further weekly nursing round is then planned, during which we’ll advise you on side effects, apply supportive measures and document the following parameters:

  • Vital signs (blood pressure, pulse, temperature, etc.)
  • Skin condition (what is the condition of the skin in the irradiated area?)
  • Nutritional status (are you suffering from loss of appetite or weight loss?)
  • General condition (what is the general physical and mental condition?)

Depending on your individual needs and any side effects that may arise, you can of course arrange additional appointments outside the regular nursing rounds. Or you can simply speak directly to our staff in the Outpatient Care Unit – during your radiotherapy appointment.

Appointment scheduling:

The outpatient team will give you your weekly nursing round appointments. As a rule, these are between 8:00 and 16:00 hrs.

Nursing focus for proton therapy patients

To give you a more precise overview of what the Outpatient Care Unit does for you, we’ll go into a little more detail below:

Your vital signs (also known as vital statistics) tell us how well your cardiovascular system is functioning, so taking your pulse, blood pressure and body temperature are standard features of every nursing round at WPE because this is the only way to detect potential side effects of radiotherapy on the cardiovascular system.

The actual condition of your skin is recorded at commencement of your proton therapy. In the further course of proton radiotherapy, our care experts then view the irradiation field at least once a week. Why? Because radiotherapy can trigger what is known as radiation dermatitis – an eczema-type skin irritation caused by the ionising radiation during therapy.

If you experience skin irritation, our Outpatient Care Unit will assess this in accordance with RTOG guidelines (Radiation Therapy Oncology Group); 5 stages) and document its progress. Our experts will also advise you on special skin care and general behavioural measures for personal hygiene and care to help you avoid skin irritation caused by radiation as far as possible and treat it yourself if necessary.

Patients sometimes experience a certain loss of appetite and resultant weight loss during tumour therapy. For this reason, the recording of nutritional status, including regular weighing and BMI statistics, is also part of the work our Outpatient Care Unit undertakes.

As a patient, it is also important to assess your own particular appetite or that of your child where he/she is receiving radiotherapy.

General condition describes the general physical and mental state of our patients. These include parameters such as mobility, personal hygiene, ability to care for oneself, sleep, activity and many more. General condition is ascertained using the following scales:

  • WHO scale (for adult patients)
  • Lansky scale (for child patients)

You as the patient or parent are responsible for recording general condition – following prior consultation with our Outpatient Care Unit. With children, we also take a full-body photo upon commencement of treatment and at every follow-up appointment. Using these photos, our carers can monitor your child’s progress and growth to optimum effect, comparing them throughout the entire course of therapy.

If you come from out of town and are just living in Essen or surrounding area during your outpatient therapy, our Outpatient Care Unit will also be happy to give you tips on active leisure pursuits:

  • Shopping opportunities
  • Entertaining leisure activities
  • Excursion destinations

Travel guides for the Ruhr metropolitan area are also available at reception – in German and English. These may be borrowed at any time.

You can find further inspiration on the shelves and displays on the ground floor containing flyers relating to various attractions. You’re also welcome to pass on your tips to future patients. And if you have any questions, our team in the Outpatient Care Unit is always at your disposal.

Please contact us

If you’d like to make an appointment at the Outpatient Care Unit or if you have any questions regarding care during proton therapy, please contact our outpatient care team.

    Express enquiry

    Case management

    The case management of WPE will assist you with questions you may have