Overview of Cancer Exercise Rehabilitation Internship Duties

  • Students will lead a maximum of 4 patients through one-on-one exercise training 3 times a week (1.5 hour/session) over a 3-month intervention period
  • Each cancer patient has their own unique limitations to training and the student will learn to develop appropriately tailored exercise programs that will result in significant improvements in fitness while ensuring the safety of the patients.

For example, students may have to develop a program for a patient suffering from peripheral neuropathy and impaired balance. The student will learn to plan exercises that are safe (i.e., recumbent cycle vs. treadmill, or use of a harness on the treadmill) and plan exercises that will alleviate peripheral neuropathy symptoms (i.e., walking on inflatable balance and stability discs or spikey half balance rubber balls to stimulate plantar nerve endings while developing patient’s balance and proprioception). Students will be supervised to ensure they develop exercises that are not contraindicated for the patients (i.e., do not interfere with surgical clips or chemotherapy ports) and exercises that target musculoskeletal deficiencies (i.e., incorporating core strengthening exercises for patients who had surgical resection in the lower abdomen).

Students will also learn to identify potential side effects of prescribed medication that would affect exercise. For example, the heartrate of patients on beta-blockers will not increase with exercise intensity and therefore exercise intensity should be monitored with the Rate of Perceived Exertion Scale. Additionally, students will remain cognizant of the needs of the patients as they may suffer from psychological factors such as depression, low-esteem and poor body image.

  • Be prompt to each exercise session.

Sessions are held at REHAB Hospital of the Pacific
226 N Kuakini Street
Honolulu, HI 96817

  • Be respectful towards REHAB staff, patients, and visitors
  • Maintain professional appearance

Wear REHAB volunteer badge and ensure it is visible

  • Maintain accurate training records in client’s logbook
  • Abide by the policies and procedures outlined by REHAB and the UH Department of KRS