29 February 2016
Two members of the Radiation Oncology team presented at the NSW Radiation Therapist Research Group (NSWRTRG) Showcase this weekend at Lifehouse.
The theme of the weekend was ‘Research Driving the Change of Practice’, and the showcase provides an opportunity for radiation therapists across NSW who are engaged in research or quality assurance projects to communicate and share their research knowledge and experience.
The two representatives from Lifehouse were Senior Radiation Therapist Kelly Elsner, and Radiation Therapist David Tait.
Kelly’s presentation was entitled ‘Do Radiation Therapists provide psychosocial care that decreases patient anxiety? A systematic review.’ In addition to working at Lifehouse, Kelly is a Master of Philosophy Research student at the University of Sydney’s School of Medicine. She has worked in Canada, the USA and England, and she has published two original research papers on student simulations and reproducibility of pelvic radiotherapy. Kelly’s interests include patient experiences and RT skills development.
Kelly said: “Radiation Therapy is an anxiety provoking experience for patients and their families. This research investigates how we can reduce patient anxiety and continue to improve patient care and patient wellbeing, with a focus on effective communication and support.”
David Tait has been a Radiation Therapist at Lifehouse since its launch in 2013, having transferred from RPA where he began practicing in 2012. He gained research experience completing two Honours degrees, and has maintained a keen interest in research throughout his RT career, attending and presenting at a number of conferences. David’s primary focus is head and neck IMRT, and he is a member of the Lifehouse Radiation Oncology Department’s Head and Neck Advisory Group. David’s presentation was entitled, ‘Head and Neck IMRT – A quality assurance project reviewing prescription, recording and reporting using ICRU83 terminology.’
David said: “This project aimed to help update the Lifehouse head and neck intensity-modulated radiation therapy protocol to be consistent with the latest national and international clinical trials. It also showed Lifehouse to be producing high-quality head and neck plans along the way.
“Attending days like the NSWRTRG Showcase allows us to learn of the latest innovations from centres all over NSW and encourages the kind critical thinking which could potentially help improve clinical practice here at Lifehouse,” David said.
Kelly added: “It’s an intimate and nurturing event that encourages awareness of Radiation Therapy-led research, innovations and collaborations among institutions. It continues to promote a positive research culture at Lifehouse and in the Radiation Therapy community.”
The showcase was attended by 60 radiation therapists from metropolitan NSW, including Sydney, Coffs Harbour, Newcastle, Canberra, Wollongong and Gosford.