senior radiation therapist
At the ONJ we use MRI planning for brachytherapy treatment of cervical cancer. While the service was being established it was evident that very little training for therapists in 3D MRI planning was available. This has resulted in inconsistency and inefficiency, prolonging the day for patients and staff.
A credentialing program to implement a structured approach for the upskilling of staff in the brachytherapy program was developed. The objective of the program was to gain consistency and proficiency in the planning processes, theatre processes and treatment delivery of brachytherapy to gynaecological cancers.
A program was designed to cover different modules of the brachytherapy service. Some of the modules included self –directed theory and practical learning including reading protocols and guidelines and familiarization of equipment and safety in the brachytherapy setting. Practical sessions included theatre induction, ultrasound and one on one training session with the supervisor to go through examples of planning applicator placement and dosimetry. The trainee was asked to complete sample cases without time constraints, subsequently review by the supervisor. Then another set of cases under time restrictions that were assessed by the supervisor. Following this, a pass of at least 80% in the exist assessment was required to pass the credentialing program. The expected time frame for the completion of the program is 12 weeks with a dedicated 1 day per week session for training.
The credentialing program was designed by the senior brachytherapist, reviewed by the Radiation Oncologists and assessed by the quality assurance committee. All new staff joining the ONJ brachytherapy team have participated in the program and have found it to be comprehensive and helpful in building their skills.