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Clinical Technologist job description
The post holder provides, with others, specialist clinical technical services and clinical technical services within the Radiotherapy Physics Clinical Technology Section, which is part of the Radiotherapy Physics Unit.
The post holder uses computers and their knowledge of anatomy, physiology and radiobiology together with their knowledge and understanding of radiation beams to make a plan of how to treat individual cancer patients with radiation beams in order to achieve the desired outcome of tumour control with minimal radiation damage to healthy organs. These plans inform the radiographer how to set the linear accelerator to treat each individual patient. The whole process is called Radiotherapy Physics Treatment Planning.
A BSc in Clinical Technology or equivalent.
To be on, or working towards joining, the Voluntary Register of Clinical Technologists.
To be registered in the (or in previous employment) as an Operator within the meaning of the Ionising Radiations (Medical Exposures) Regulations for the areas of treatment plan production.
Previous experience of Radiotherapy Physics Clinical Technology services.
The post holder must possess sufficient knowledge to produce individual radiotherapy treatment plans which are both optimal in terms of maximising the dose to the cancer while minimising the danger of injury or death through radiation overdose.
The post holder must also know and understand the general principles of radiation dosimetry and radiotherapy in order to be able to advise oncologists and radiographers on the treatment of individual patients. This knowledge will have been gained through QT1, in-house and through attendance at short courses and experience as appropriate.
Training in quality control checks of radiotherapy equipment delivered in house and as formal short courses as appropriate. The post holder must know and understand enough about radiation and the radiotherapy equipment that generates the radiation to make safe and reliable measurements in the quality control process.
The post holder must be able to communicate to radiographers complex, safety critical information required to treat individual patients with radiation beams. While the post holder can use a computer to relay some of this information, the post holder must also be able to communicate some of these complex instructions orally to the radiographers. Similarly, the post holder must be able to understand the complex information they receive from the consultant oncologists, including, for example, the extent of the volume in the patient that should receive radiation, and to what degree.
The post holder must be able to decide between several different distributions of radiation dose in the treatment plans that they produce. This is not a simple matter because the best answer is not always obvious.
In addition, the post holder must be able to identify faults on the complex equipment that they use in their job. This includes the treatment planning system and its accessories as well as the equipment used to measure radiation from the radiotherapy equipment. The post holder will not necessarily be expected to fix all of the faults, but it is important that the post holder notice, identify and isolate the fault so that incorrect data will not jeopardise the patient’s treatment.
Clinical Technical Services
1. Complex, fully conformal, CT/MR-based radiotherapy treatment planning;
2. Quality Control on Linear Accelerators including calibration of output; energy, beam uniformity and geometry measurement, and so on;
Specialist Clinical Technical Services
3. Stereotactic radiotherapy treatment planning including preparing head-frame and mouth bite;
4. Total-body irradiation including planning, and monitoring patient dose during treatment;
(1) Responsible for providing, with others, the clinical technical service of radiotherapy treatment planning and radiotherapy equipment quality control for cancer patients requiring radiotherapy. This includes providing the clinical technical services numbered 1 and 2 on the above list.
In providing radiotherapy equipment quality control, the post holder takes part in a rota under which he/she is responsible for the quality control of a given linear accelerator for a period of time.
(2) The post holder assists in the provision of specialist clinical technical services for cancer patients requiring radiotherapy. This includes assisting with the provision of the four specialist clinical technical services numbered 3 – 6 on the above list.
The clinical technical services and specialist clinical technical services of Radiotherapy Physics Clinical Technology comprise the whole range of complex technical services encompassed by Radiotherapy Physics Treatment Planning and Radiotherapy Equipment Quality Control and include:
5. Gynaecological radiotherapy planning with radioactive sources including production of pre-treatment plans, ordering sealed sources, producing 3-D reconstructions of implants and calculating doses using defined dose calculation techniques;
6. Developing new radiotherapy planning protocols and techniques.
In this post, the post holder is consolidating the skills learned in training as an Assistant Clinical Technologist in Radiotherapy and so the complexity of the work in a given area, including checking, which the post holder undertakes depends upon the experience in the area.
The scope of the provision of clinical technical services and the assistance with the provision of specialist clinical technical services by the post holder includes not only the production of treatment plans and calculations from all of these different fields but also the primary checking of treatment plans and calculations from a selected range of these different fields, depending upon the post holder’s experience and expertise. A primary check means that no other check of the work is necessary, in contrast with a secondary check.
In providing all of the above services, the post holder acts as an Operator within the meaning of the Ionising Radiations (Medical Exposures) Regulations.
(3) The post holder may be asked to contribute ideas for improving the Department’s service to the Oncology Department, and to work with radiographers, clinical technologists and others as appropriate in order to achieve these goals.
(4) Responsible for the safe use of radiotherapy equipment including personally controlling linear accelerators and other equipment costing up to £1.5 million per item.
(5) The post holder is required to demonstrate their work and procedures to new or less experienced staff when appropriate.
(6) In the treatment planning process, the post holder accepts responsibility for entering the required data onto the treatment planning computer system and the radiotherapy networking computers linking the linear accelerators, simulators and computer image store. The post holder is also responsible for producing the computer output plans as part of the process.
(7) Clinical trials are run continually in the Oncology Centre, and the radiotherapy component will require certain regular checks of the linear accelerators used to deliver the radiation according to the trial. The post holder assists in testing the equipment on daily, weekly or other regular rotas as required by the research schedule.
Other Key Tasks-Clinical Technologist
(8) Advise staff in the Mould Room and Workshops about the size and shape of shielding devices, compensators etc. required for use in the treatment of a patient and, on construction, ensuring that the fabrication satisfies the design specifications.
(9) Advise Superintendent Radiographers in charge of treatment units on the implementation of radiotherapy treatment plans.
(10) Give advice as required on monitor units and treatment times for simple treatments.
(11) Advise Mould Room staff about the sealed sources to be used for individual patients' treatments.
(12) Co-operate with other scientific, medical and professional staff to improve patient care.
(13) Maintain flexibility of working hours in response to the needs of the centre. The post holder is expected to participate in the agreed on call programme.
(14) Other duties as may be required by Head of Radiotherapy Physics Clinical Technology Services