Breast Localisation and Simulation for Advanced Radiation Therapy Practice

Course description

This clinically focused course with a theoretical underpinning facilitates the development of advanced clinical skills and an in-depth understanding of the principles related to breast localisation and simulation in order to prepare practitioners for advanced practice roles. Evidence-based practice, clinical decision making and change management are presented in the context of the advanced practice role. Advanced clinical skills are developed through a Radiation Oncologist mentorship model, where breast localisation and clinical decision making associated with clinical/virtual breast volume delineation are the primary focus. A professional portfolio containing evidence of knowledge and skill development throughout the program allows candidates to demonstrate what they have learned and experienced.

The course builds on the practitioners' existing knowledge of anatomy, physiology, pathology oncology and patient care related to breast cancer. It allows students to investigate imaging modalities related to radiation therapy and the current planning and treatment techniques, including dosimetric considerations for planning. The radiobiological basis of dose and fractionation regimes together with detailed information relating to side effects and their management are investigated. Patient care issues related to the course of radiation therapy for patients with breast cancer are also presented.

Units included in course:

  1. Principles of Oncology for the Breast
  2. Advanced Clinical Practice: Breast localisation and simulation 1
  3. Principles of Oncology for the Breast 2
  4. Advanced Clinical Practice: Breast localisation and simulation 2

Mode of delivery

Non-award online distance education program delivered by Monash University, supported clinically by locally selected radiation oncologists and clinical facilitators. Clinical workbooks and academic materials provided by Monash University. Candidates who successfully complete the course will be issued with a certificate of completion. Please note, access to the Monash University library is not available for participants of nonaward courses. All participants need to arrange access to current online journals and databases.

Course Duration- 2 options:

  1. Course completion in 2 semesters (1 year- 4 units of study) - one academic unit and one clinical unit per semester. Semester 1 Late February – June. Semester 2 July – November.
  2. Academic units completed in one year and clinical units completed the following year. The academic units are a pre-requisite to the clinical units.

Assessments

In semester assessment format may include: learning contracts, written assignments, case studies, power point presentations, portfolios, self evaluation, extended reflective case analysis, problem based learning cases, case logs, and clinical skills assessments. There is no end of semester written exam.

Learning outcomes

Clinical learning outcomes

By the end of the clinical unit participants will be able to critically;

  1. Analyse legal and ethical frameworks in relation to advanced practice, reflecting on these in the context of their own development;
  2. Argue the importance of incorporating an evidence based paradigm into radiation therapy practice;
  3. Discuss in detail the importance of clinical decision making and change management in the advanced

practice role;

  1. Evaluate from an informed perspective a range of patient case notes and histories to determine suitability for radiation therapy to the breast;
  2. Evaluate any contraindications which may affect the decision to proceed with radiation therapy localisation and simulation, suggesting potential methods of intervention and communicating any issues to the relevant member of the multidisciplinary team;
  3. Justify in relation to evidence the rationale for radiation field placement on a 'case by case' basis for patients with breast cancer and demonstrate a competent level of practice in clinical/virtual field border delineation;
  4. Discuss and reflect on contemporary approaches to the management of breast cancer relating to each case which is encountered during the localisation process.

Academic learning outcomes

  1. By the end of the academic units, participants will be able to critically;
  2. Describe in detail the anatomy and patho-physiology of the breast;
  3. Discuss the epidemiological and aetiological factors associated with cancer of the breast;
  4. Appraise the procedures and techniques that are used to confirm a breast cancer diagnosis;
  5. Analyse the factors which affect the choice of management strategy for tumours arising in the breast;
  6. Describe the role of radiation therapy, cytotoxic chemotherapy, surgery and hormone therapy in the management of patients with breast cancer;
  7. Evaluate the psycho-social issues that patients with breast cancer may experience and describe the support systems available to them; and
  8. Discuss the role of the multi-disciplinary team in relation to the care of patients with breast cancer.

How to enrol

Enrolment forms are available on request by emailing catherine.osborne@monash.edu or visit http://www.med.monash.edu.au/radiography/ Short Courses.
To enrol you need to complete the enrolment application form and email this along with supporting documentation (proof of qualifications, proof of citizenship (Australian domestic applicants only), proof of employment (overseas applicants), and a letter of support from your clinical centre that also states the names of your Radiation Oncologist mentor and Radiation Therapist facilitator (clinical units only) to: Catherine.osborne@monash.edu

Enrolments close on 31st January annually

Once your application has been processed, and if you are accepted onto the course, fees need to be paid prior to the commencement of each semester. Refunds will be given up to 6 weeks after enrolment.

Course fees

Full course for International Radiation Therapists - $5000 (4 units of study) or single unit enrolment is $1250.

Course dates

Semester 1: Early March - Late June annually
Semester 2: Early July – Late November annually

Further enquires

If you have any additional queries please contact:
Catherine Osborne
Course convener
E: Catherine.osborne@monash.edu