Divya Bassi works as a health and wellbeing practitioner and has over 10 years of experience in cancer care. Below she outlines why our new e-Learning course is a must for health professionals looking to speak to their patients about lifestyle and behaviour change.
In my job, it is crucial that I maximise teachable moments with patients and deliver public health messages at every opportunity. I am a member of the South West Aftercare Team supporting the health and wellbeing of children and young adult survivors of cancer. Part of our work is to educate and empower patients to make informed choices about their future health, making sure that they are aware of any long-term effects of treatment and how to minimise their risks.
Within my role, I conduct holistic needs assessments with each patient to identify individual determinants of health and any health inequalities that I can address. Where possible, I encourage healthy behaviour change as part of these discussions and signpost to resources to support any changes. Part of my professional practice is to use evidence-based health information and behaviour change strategies when supporting patients.
Signposts to health
I often utilise World Cancer Research Fund’s cancer prevention publications and resources, whether it’s reading their latest cancer prevention report or signposting a patient to their health tools. Their new e-Learning course is a great educational resource for aiding healthy lifestyle choices, behaviour changes and providing cancer prevention advice. I think the course is excellent, informative and well-presented, with an assessment at the end to cement learning.
I particularly like the summary of the scientific evidence for each section, so we are aware of the literature used to justify the content. Evidence-based working is a key competency for public health workers, so to know that the material is based on the most up-to-date, high-quality research is reassuring.
For me, recording and evaluating my public health work is crucial to reflect and improve on how I deliver public health messages, so I also value the checklist that the course provides to record and evaluate brief interventions with patients.
Professionals taking the course are signposted to lots of reliable resources which are invaluable. What’s more, the Royal Society of Public Health has approved the course as contributing towards continuing professional development (CPD), which is great for registered public health professionals that have to complete a certain amount of development each year.
I use World Cancer Research Fund’s health information with patients in a variety of ways, including sticking up the What counts as exercise? poster in waiting rooms to educate patients on the benefits of everyday activities such as gardening or housework. We also signpost to the charity’s healthy recipes to give patients some inspiration about a balanced and healthy diet – this always gets a great response.
I hugely value the educational tools and information provided by World Cancer Research Fund. In fact, not only do I share their resources with the patients I work with, but also my colleagues and other health professionals.
- You can enroll in our free cancer prevention course here.