Radiation Therapy Practice Professional Development Modules

Module Overview   Registration   Modules

The Radiation Therapy Practice Professional Development Modules are available to radiation therapists to engage in readily accessible professional learning, anywhere, any time. The Modules have been created by a consortium of Universities, including Monash University, RMIT University, University of South Australia, University of Newcastle, and Queensland University of Technology. Development of the modules has been funded by the Department of Health and Ageing ‘Better Access to Radiation Oncology’ strategy.

The University of South Australia offers the following three modules:

Module Overview

Learning materials will be delivered to students via the online platform ‘Stile’. Each module will be managed by a radiation therapy academic at the listed teaching University. All content with each module is evidence based and has been validated by experts in the field. Lessons include interactive reflective exercises, peer discussion, references to additional reading, and self-directed quiz based assessment. Each module is available for a period of 16 weeks, and should take 8-16 hours to complete: how long each module will take is largely dependent on how much you choose to engage in suggested activities and discussion with your peers.

You will receive a Certificate of Completion from the teaching University on completion of the module. Please note: although modules are University delivered, they do not provide credit towards a formal academic award.

All qualified radiation therapists are eligible for admission. Professionals from related fields are welcome to enrol, but should be aware the content is directed towards radiation therapy and radiation therapists. The fees are AUD$500 per module, and no refund is available after the module has commenced. You will receive access to ‘Stile’ and the module once your registration has been processed.

Please note: enrolment on a module does not provide access to any University based resources, such as library and journal access. Open access and online resources have been embedded into the modules where possible; however peer reviewed journal articles are often suggested as recommended reading. You may wish to check online journal accessibility within your clinical centre prior to enrolment. Further information about each of the modules is below.

Registration

If you are interested in enrolling in a module, please complete a registration form and forward to the contact provided on the form. Please also complete a payment form and forward this to the contact provided on the form..

Please complete one registration form per module.

Payment must be finalised prior the first day of module commencement to be granted a place on the module.

Registration form   Payment form

Modules

Semester 1   Semester 2   Semester 3

Fifteen modules are available for radiation therapists to engage in professional learning. Five modules are available each semester. Each University will teach one module per semester, as defined in the following table. To enrol in a module, please complete the registration form.

Semester One: 28 August - 15 December 2017

Implementing Practice Change

This module will be delivered by RMIT University. The purpose of this module is to provide an overview of concepts and ideas that may have relevance and implications for the introduction of change to clinical practice in a radiation therapy setting. By the end of this module you will be able to explain the principles of quality management and risk minimisation, and incident management. You will be able to describe the principles of change management and how change operates in organisations. You will also be able to create training guidelines and engage clinical mentoring skills to educate others in relation to practice change. This module will enable you to apply a considered approach to implementing practice change in your clinical centre.

Perspectives on Psycho-Oncology

This module will be delivered by Monash University. This module explores the psychological issues patients experience when receiving radiation therapy, and the importance of recognising and treating psychological challenges. By the end of this module you will be able to discuss the coping mechanisms used by oncology patients, as well as quality of life issues and the psychological impact of side effects. You will also know the importance of providing information using effective communication, and the emotional and existential issues of the dying. This module will enable the radiation therapist to develop strategies for communicating with patients about their wellbeing, and to recognise when specialist support may be necessary.

Advanced Imaging Anatomy: Thoracic Systems

This module will be delivered by University of South Australia. This module uses CT, MRI, PET and ultrasound images to highlight normal anatomy and oncology pathology across thoracic systems, including cardiovascular, musculo-skeletal, breast and respiratory. By the end of this module you will have an understanding of normal anatomy, tumour presentation and metastatic pathways in thoracic systems. Learning through an extensive series of patient images, you will also be able to recognise gross anatomy, lymphatics and vascular anatomy on CT, MRI, PET and ultrasound. This will enable the radiation therapist to apply anatomical knowledge of a range of thoracic systems to the clinical setting, and understand how the relationship between anatomy, tumour presentation and metastatic pathways impact on radiation therapy target volumes and image verification.

Advanced Imaging Anatomy: Head and Neck

This module will be delivered by Queensland University of Technology. The purpose of this module is to provide the radiation therapist with a working knowledge of head and neck anatomy to enhance planning volume delineation and treatment verification. By the end of this module you will have an understanding of normal anatomy, tumour presentation and metastatic pathways in head and neck region. Learning through a case based approach you will also be able to recognise gross anatomy, lymphatics and vascular anatomy on CT, MRI and PET. You will also be able to discuss how tumour location can impact staging and resultant volume delineation. This module will enable the radiation therapist to extend their recognition of head and neck anatomical structures as defined by a range of imaging modalities.

Palliative Care in Radiation Oncology

This module will be delivered by University of Newcastle. This module will provide you with a comprehensive overview of the principles and practice of palliative care within the radiation oncology setting. By the end of this module you will know the principles and standards of palliative care and how these relate to the radiation oncology setting. You will also be able to discuss the particular needs of patients with life-limiting illness and be familiar with communication methods required to support these patients. You will be able to describe the assessment and intervention strategies used for palliative patients, and the role that radiation therapy plays in patient management. This module will enable you to analyse the role the radiation therapist plays in the management of the palliative patient, and be able to apply this within the clinical setting.

Semester Two: 9 January - 28 April 2017

Quality of Life and the Oncology Patient

 

This module will be delivered by University of Newcastle. This module seeks to provide radiation therapists with broad knowledge related to the general concepts of Quality of Life (QoL) used within health care and oncology. By the end of the module you will be able to discuss the multi-dimensional construct of QoL, and the personally subjective meaning of QoL for patients. You will also be able to explain the variety of ways QoL can be measured and assessed. You will understand research related to QoL in oncology and broader health care, and begin to apply research concepts into practice. This module will enable radiation therapists to assess the QoL of their patients more effectively, and to apply their knowledge to considered radiation therapy planning and improve QoL outcomes for patients.

 

Advanced Imaging Anatomy: CNS

 

This module will be delivered by Queensland University of Technology.

The purpose of this module is to provide the radiation therapist with a working knowledge of central nervous system (CNS) anatomy to enhance planning volume delineation and treatment verification. By the end of this module you will have an understanding of normal anatomy, tumour presentation and metastatic pathways in CNS region. Learning through a case based approach you will be able to recognise gross anatomy on CT, MRI and PET. You will also be able to discuss how tumour location can impact staging and resultant volume delineation. This module will enable the radiation therapist to extend their recognition of CNS anatomical structures as defined by a range of imaging modalities.

Medico-legal and Ethical Principles for Radiation Therapy

This module will be delivered by RMIT University. This module will provide the learner with an understanding of medico-legal and ethical principles as they apply to radiation therapy and medical radiations practitioners in general. By the end of this module you will understand how health law is regulated in Australia and differentiate between civil and criminal actions. You will also be able to describe the notions of assault and negligence with respect to radiation oncology, and know the complaints process in health care. You will know the legal and ethical principles of informed consent and patient confidentiality, and how this applies in your practice. By the end of this module you will be able to discuss ethical issues such as consequentialism, non-maleficence and beneficence, and virtue ethics. This module will enable the radiation therapist to analyse their own clinical practice with respect to medico-legal and ethical principles.

Reflective Practice and Portfolio Development

 

This module will be delivered by University of South Australia. The material in this module will facilitate the learner to develop substantiated reflective practice in their professional domain. By the end of this module, you will recognise the value of reflective practice within health professions, and the use of electronic portfolios to support reflective practice. You will know the reflective models available to the practitioner, and be able to apply the most relevant to your own reflective writings. This module will assist the participant to record their professional development in an individually reflective style using an electronic portfolio. The portfolio will equip the learner to identify areas of interest and maintain solid evidence of continued professional development.

Advanced Imaging Anatomy: Lower GI and Hepatobiliary

 

This module will be delivered by Monash University. This module uses CT, MRI, PET and ultrasound images to highlight normal anatomy and oncology pathology in the lower GI and hepatobiliary system. By the end of this module you will have an understanding of normal anatomy, tumour presentation and metastatic pathways in the lower GI and hepatobiliary system. Learning through an extensive series of patient images, you will also be able to recognise gross anatomy, lymphatics and vascular anatomy on CT, MRI, PET and ultrasound. This will enable the radiation therapist to apply anatomical knowledge of the lower GI and hepatobiliary system to the clinical setting, and understand how the relationship between the anatomy, tumour presentation and metastatic pathways impact on radiation therapy target volumes and image verification.

Semester Three: 1 May - 25 August 2017

Contemporary Applications of Imaging Equipment in Radiation Oncology

This module will be delivered by University of South Australia. The purpose of this module is to provide the radiation therapist with an understanding of the contemporary applications of imaging equipment, such as ultrasound, PET, CBCT and MRI. By the end of this module you will be able to discuss the mechanism and application of ultrasound in volume delineation and brachytherapy. You will also know the use of CBCT in modern treatment verification of image guided and adaptive radiation therapy, and some of the challenges faced with image recognition. You will be able to explain how MRI may be used for treatment verification in the future, and the hurdles still to be overcome. This module will enable you to analyse advanced applications of imaging equipment that may be relevant to your clinical centre.

Communication for Contemporary Health Care

This module will be delivered by Queensland University of Technology. The material in this module provides the practitioner with a comprehensive analysis of the issues surrounding effective communication in radiation oncology. By the end of this module you will be able to discuss the issues associated with information literacy and the specific information needs of patients with cancer, including patients with special needs. You will be able to evaluate perspectives of communication, such as transactional analysis, and apply these to the radiation therapy context. You will be able to describe the theory of emotional intelligence, and apply this in your communication with patients and others. This module will enable the practitioner to apply effective communication strategies within daily clinical practice.

Patient Assessment and Toxicity Management in Radiation Therapy

This module will be delivered by University of Newcastle. The purpose of this module is to understand the toxicities associated with radiation therapy, and the appropriate management of these symptoms. By the end of this module you will understand the principles of radiation therapist led treatment reviews and toxicity management strategies. You will be able to identify the side effects and management regimes common to specific treatment sites, and the responsibilities of the team in managing these side effects. You will be able to discuss the importance of psychosocial management of the patient throughout radiotherapy. This module will enable the radiation therapist to be more informed about toxicity assessment and side effect management, and be able to apply this knowledge into routine clinical practice.

Advanced Imaging Anatomy: Genitourinary

 

This module will be delivered by Monash University. This module uses CT, MRI, PET and ultrasound images to highlight normal anatomy and oncology pathology in the genitourinary system. By the end of this module you will have an understanding of normal anatomy, tumour presentation and metastatic pathways in the genitourinary system. Learning through an extensive series of patient images, you will also be able to recognise gross anatomy, lymphatics and vascular anatomy on CT, MRI, PET and ultrasound. This will enable the radiation therapist to apply anatomical knowledge of the genitourinary system to the clinical setting, and understand how the relationship between the anatomy, tumour presentation and metastatic pathways impact on radiation therapy target volumes and image verification.

Advances in Radiobiology for Radiation Therapy

 

This module will be delivered by RMIT University. The purpose of this module is to review principles of radiobiology in relation to advanced applications of radiation therapy. By the end of this module you will be able to explain the key factors that contribute to DNA damage and cell death. You will also be able to discuss the main components of cell survival curves and their role in treatment fractionation. You will be able to describe the 5Rs of radiobiology and their influence over clinical decision making. You will be able to synthesise the principles of radiobiology as they relate to advanced radiation therapy techniques with fractionation and biological modelling. This module will enable you to identify the currents trends in translational research in radiation therapy relating to radiobiology and discuss the future trends for technology and research.

Areas of study and research

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