Evolution of the Radiation Therapist: Advanced Practice

November 8, 2022

Endorsed by CPD Now. This may help to support outcomes 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, and 19 CPD Now. 

The Therapeutic Radiographer/Radiation Therapist (RTT) is the professional with direct responsibility for treatment planning and treatment delivery in a safe environment as well as patient care, follow-up, and research. 

Reaching higher levels of complexity in clinical practice leads to advanced and consultant roles. Advanced Practice (AP) in modern Radiation Oncology has been directly linked with the improvement of cancer patients’ quality of life with less morbidity and increased disease-free survival. As described by the European society for radiotherapy and oncology (ESTRO) Radiation TherapisT Committee (RTTC), RTTs who work at an AP level are required to demonstrate their expert practice in a specialized area with a leadership role in the development of RT services, and research associated with their specialties1

During National Radiologic Technology Week®, on World Radiography Day, we will hear from AP RTTs giving an overview of their role, career path and demonstrating the diversity and importance of AP in the RTT profession.  

After viewing this webinar, participants should be able to discuss the progress and challenges of the implementation of AP RTT roles; recognize the diversity and influence of AP RTT roles; discuss the future evolution of the AP RTT role.

L. Nicole Harnett, MRT(T) BSc AC(T) MEd, Director of the Accelerated Education Program, Princess Margaret Cancer Center, Assistant Professor in the Department of Radiation Oncology at the University of Toronto, Canada

Nicole Harnett is the Director of the Accelerated Education Program Princess Margaret Cancer Centre (PMCC), an Assistant Professor in the Department of Radiation Oncology at the University of Toronto (UTDRO), and the Director, Curriculum for the Institute of Medical Science, Temerty Faculty of Medicine, also at UT.  From 2004 – 2016, Nicole served as the Principal Investigator for the Clinical Specialist Radiation Therapist Project in Ontario, Canada – a $5M project geared towards describing, implementing and measuring the impact of advanced practice in radiation therapy.  She continues to be heavily involved in all things advanced practice including serving as the Chair of the Advanced Practice Steering Committee at the Canadian Association of Medical Radiation Therapists which developed and oversees the certification process for APRT(T) in Canada.

Paolo Brossa, RTT Coordinator, University of Turin Radiotherapy, Italy

Paolo Brossa achieved his RTT degree in 1997. He has worked in Radiotherapy for 24 years. His current position is RTT Coordinator in University of Turin Radiotherapy, Italy. He is involved in Radixact® platform workflow and Treatment Deliveries (First European RT center to perform Radixact with Synchrony® deliveries). He has previously presented at ESTRO 2021 Accuray Exchange Academy, “Radixact with Synchrony delivery workflow from a RTT perspective” and at the Italian Accuray TomoTherapy® User meeting (Bologna, 2022). He has been an observer in the ESTRO RTT committee since May 2022.

Yat Man Tsang, Ph.D., FCR by Portfolio, Director of Radiation Therapy in the Radiation Medicine Program at the Princess Margaret Cancer Center in Toronto, Canada

Yat Tsang is the incoming Director of Radiation Therapy in the Radiation Medicine Program at the Princess Margaret Cancer Center in Toronto Canada, effective full-time September 2022.  

For his previous role in the United Kingdom (UK), he was jointly employed as a Consultant Therapeutic Radiographer at the Mount Vernon Cancer Center, and the Associate Professor (Clinical Academic Careers) at the London South Bank University.   

He has published extensively on a broad range of radiation oncology topics, including radiotherapy trial quality assurance, ultra-hypofractionated/ stereotactic radiotherapy treatment outcomes, and strategies for future-proofing radiation therapist practice.

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1. A. Duffton, L. Devlin, Y. Tsang, M. Mast, M. Leech. Advanced practice: An ESTRO RTTC position paper. Technical Innov Patient Support Radiation Oncol, 10 (2019), pp. 16-19