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Therapeutic Procedures: Definition & Examples

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  • 0:00 Therapeutic Procedures…
  • 0:35 Cancer Treatments
  • 1:21 Fluid and Oxygen Therapy
  • 2:13 Intravenous Therapy & Vaccines
  • 3:09 Mental & Physical Therapies
  • 3:57 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Artem Cheprasov
Medicine has a range of therapeutic procedures. This lesson defines therapeutic procedures and gives you some examples, including radiation, fluid, oxygen therapy, and chemotherapy.

Therapeutic Procedures Definition

When a car malfunctions, a mechanic can perform all sorts of procedures in order to restore the car back to full health or to at least improve its condition so it can run again to some extent.

While human bodies aren't mechanical machines, physicians and nurses can do something similar via various therapeutic procedures. These are medical treatments that can help prevent, cure, or at least improve a person's condition.

Let's go over a few examples of therapeutic procedures and the basics of how they enhance patient recovery or health.

Cancer Treatments

One of the best known examples of a therapeutic procedure is radiation therapy, or using ionizing radiation mainly as a way to treat or control cancer. Ionizing radiation is the more dangerous form of radiation you typically want to stay away from, like x-rays. It can damage your cells to the point of mutating or killing those cells, depending on how much radiation you are subjected to and over what period of time.

Cancer is a disease process where normal cells of your body undergo mutations that cause them to uncontrollably multiply and spread around the body. Radiation therapy helps to kill specific areas of cancer cells. This is unlike chemotherapy, which is the use of chemicals injected into the body for the purpose of killing cancer cells throughout the body.

Fluid and Oxygen Therapy

Fluid therapy is the use of fluids (orally or intravenously), to help:

  • Rehydrate a person
  • Deliver needed electrolytes, like sodium, potassium, calcium, and so forth
  • Help change how acidic or basic their body is as a result of any number of disease states or emergency conditions

All sorts of disease states and emergency conditions require the use of another therapeutic procedure, oxygen therapy, the use and delivery of additional oxygen to a person's lungs via oxygen tanks, masks, and the like.

When would we use this? Well, imagine someone has difficulty breathing as a result of pneumonia. Since the body is lacking adequate levels of oxygen, the person may feel uncomfortable and may damage internal organs. Oxygen is delivered to the person to make up for the lack of proper natural oxygenation as a result.

Intravenous Therapy & Vaccines

Bacteria can wreak havoc on the body. One of the ways we can help a patient recover from infection is by way of antibiotics, drugs that target bacteria. However, we don't always give antibiotics by mouth.

Sometimes we turn to intravenous (IV) therapy. This is an umbrella term for any kind of therapeutic substance delivered to a person by way of a vein. This includes fluid therapy and chemotherapy. However, IV therapy isn't limited to delivering fluids, electrolytes, and chemotherapy. We can deliver plenty of other drugs, like antibiotics.

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