Course Report Advanced Skills in Modern Radiotherapy
19-23 June 2023, Paris, France
Elizabeth Forde, Assistant Professor, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland.
Could you please briefly introduce yourself?
My name is Sita and I am currently a radiation therapist (RTT) working in Kantonsspital Winterthur (KSW), Switzerland.
I am originally from Dublin where I studied for my BSc. in radiation therapy at Trinity College Dublin.
Why did you choose to attend this course?
In my current role, I am working part-time on the treatments machines (Linear accelerator, brachytherapy, orthovoltage and CT) and part-time in treatment planning and contouring.
It was clear that this course addressed the complete treatment care path and so I was certain I would learn some valuable lessons from the expert faculty involved. Additionally, this course was aimed at RTTs and their roles in the modern treatment care path which is a topic I am quite passionate about as the role of the RTT is ever-evolving and adapting to rapidly-changing technology.
What aspects of the course were the most interesting and why?
I found the most interesting aspect to be the refreshing insights into the common challenges we currently face as RTTs on a European scale. The course itself contained much depth and detail but simultaneously managed to balance the “bigger picture” concepts quite elegantly thus creating a refreshing perspective on the modern challenges associated with the evolving role and responsibilities of the RTT.
As an additional note, it was equally fascinating to meet fellow RTTs from across Europe and share our experiences and opinions which was made possible due to the design of the course.
Did the course activities improve your knowledge and skills in the relevant subject?
Absolutely! The faculty involved delivered high quality presentations in a clear and concise manner which nurtured an excellent learning environment which was reinforced with practical workshops.
Did the course meet your expectations? If so, how?
The course went beyond expectations. I had previously heard from colleagues that it was a very informative course which proved to be true but the wide scope and depth of the material was excellent. The faculty managed to cover all site-specific treatments in terms of treatment planning, delineation, immobilisation, IGRT, image registration and treatment modalities. In addition to current topics of interest such as adaptive radiotherapy, error management, incident reporting and artificial intelligence in radiotherapy.
List three important ‘takeaways’ following the course.
1. A holistic approach and overview to treatment planning is more efficient and beneficial to the patient compared to solely focusing on quantitative evaluation methods i.e. dosimetric constraints.
2. Regarding errors and incidents, nurturing a healthy culture surrounding incident-reporting and evaluation is an important factor in future prevention and education.
3. The role of the RTT is certainly evolving and standardised education is essential in order to adapt to the future of radiotherapy - knowing why we do things and not just how to do it.
How would you encourage someone who has never been to an ESTRO Course to join this course next year/ in two years?
If you an RTT or radiation oncology professional who is interested in gaining a clear and concise overview of the full treatment care path from experts in the field of radiation oncology in an engaging and refreshing manner, then this is certainly an ESTRO course you will benefit from. The faculty are all very passionate in their own fields of expertise which encourages an engaging learning environment where you will connect with fellow radiation oncology professionals from around Europe and gain first-hand insight into the similarities and differences that are currently present in European radiotherapy practice.
19-23 June 2023, Paris, France