Radiation Therapy Practice Professional Development Modules

The Radiation Therapy Practice Professional Development Modules are available to radiation therapists to engage in readily accessible professional learning, anywhere, anytime. 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.

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.

Registration

If you are interested in enrolling in a module, please complete a registration form and forward to the contact provided. Please complete one registration form per module.

You will be contacted via email after submission of the registration form with payment details. Payment must be finalised prior the first day of module commencement to be granted a place on the module. Online payment for Monash University delivered modules can be completed via eCart.

Radiation Therapy Practice Professional Development Modules

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 provided.

2nd January 2017 - 21st 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.

1st May 2017 - 25th 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.

28th August 2017 - 15th 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 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 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 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.