This article summarizes the reasons why formal education is important is important in improving in the performance of health practitioners particularly in the vocation of dosimetery. The author premises on the argument that the primary role of healthcare workers is the protection, and optimization of health and abilities, prevention of illness and injury, alleviation of suffering through the diagnosis and treatment of human response, and advocacy in the care of individuals, families, communities, and populations. For this reason, an extensive, solid knowledge and expertise in the area of research is required for the purposes of removing harm that imparts the trainings required for such activity. Health workers in dosimetry are under-trained to meet the needs of the job descriptions ascertained to them.
The limited formal education makes the realization of goals such as an extensive, solid knowledge and expertise in dosimetery challenging. Cohen, wrote that Certified Medical Dosimetrists (CMDs) stand for a position within the healthcare field using their training and education in technology and science with clinical settings and standards for Medical Dosimetry. In this profession, it is known that CMDs cover wide areas and diverse populations. However, the field of Medical Dosimetry is most of the time not within the general knowledge of society regardless of its essential role to the radiation and oncology departments. Some of the roles of Domestrits include creation and overseeing treatment, planning for radiation therapy, cancer treatments amongst others. The increase in the relevance of the role of dosimetry requires that it must be examined in light of the changes. The purpose of this research is comparing the relevance of formal education in healthcare and how it affects the profession of medical dosimetry.
A dosimetrist is a key member of the radiation and oncology team. Dosimetrists help treat cancer using radiation therapy. Dosimeterists often work in hospitals and cancer centers. The work of usually involves team work with a number of professionals including physicians from radiation oncologist, radio therapists as well as medical physicists. To become a dosimterist one must become, one must pass the medical dosimetrist certification exam that grants the certification of being a CMD. One method of becoming a CMD is through a becoming a radiation therapist. After becoming a radiation therapist, one can complete up to one two years of clinical medical dosimetry experience under the supervision of CMD or a radiation oncologist. Another way is through earning bachelors in any subject that has 36 hours of experience of clinical dosimetry experience under supervision of a qualified medical profession.
In the United States, the field of dosimetry is controlled by an organization called Medical Dosimetrist Certification Board. The MDCB is responsible for certification, continuance of education, as well as promotion of the already licensed members. Some of the main objectives of the organization include maintaining high standards of practice as well as advancing the field of medical dosimetry. Some other responsibilities include creating checks on the competency of the already certified in the profession and providing the mechanism for realizing certification.
One of the most important aspects of the organization’s role includes the creation of a necessary environment for continuance of education. The board holds a firm view that exams must be passed before a member is given certification. Medical Dosimetristts are able to become certified and also maintain certification while still advancing within their own profession while members of the MDCB
Why is Formal Education Important in Dosimetry
Must researchers reckon that professional development and competency in training is important for the success of the people involved in such careers. Statistics prove that in vocations where education or patient care is part of the process, there is usually a direct correlation between high standards of education and the quality of the care administered. Evidently, Medical Dosimetry is one key area where both education and patient care form the biggest chunk of the profession. Indeed many agree the the profession of Medical Dosimetry requires a great deal of professional development. Birman et all conducted a research where the competency of professional was tested based on their education. Most of the people interviewed agreed that professional development was key for their success.
The research resulted led to three conclusions regarding professional development. First, the researchers agreed that professional development is instrumental for the formation of professional network arising out of internship, network groups, structured groups based on common interests, as well as the length of time for the activity. In addition to such obvious benefits, there is also a clear cut connection between professional development and professionalism. Corcoran et all that similar to healthcare society, there is always advancements and changes. With the continual improvement in technology, skill sets, and other replacements in strategy, professional development would be the only way to keep up.
Ang et all also emphasized the importance of maintain certification to remain active in the field of Radiation and Oncology. Some of the arguments presented made the case that adequate amount of participation and activity in career fares and seminars enables one to have an active resume as well as improve competency. The article found out that continuing in education and frequently assessing one’s educational status was one of the effective ways of validating one’s certification status. It was also argued that professional development and growth were necessary in order to continue to provide exceptional patient care with the advancing knowledge and skills.
Most health science professions require certification to practice and standardized tests for the sake of assessing competency. Graduates of degree programs perform much better on advance practice examinations in Radiologic Technology. Perhaps one of the reasons why training and professional development is important for dosimetry is because of the high end science that is applied. Some of the medical responsibilities include regular supervision by Radiation oncologists and medical physicist’s performance of high complex cognitive tasks as well as using clinical reasoning skills with evidence based guidelines as the requirement to work independently.
Science and Technology
According to the United Kingdom’s National Physical Laboratory, accurate dosimetry in radiotherapy is most important to the realization of the main goal of eradication of cancer and minimizing the risks associated with severe side effects of the hi-tech radiation that may affect healthy tissues and organs. The need for accurate dosimetry is also underscored by the two distinct requirements: achieving legal tolerance for microbiological contamination while minimizing economic cost.
Conventionally, most modern professions use accurate rankings while gauging wage and salary increments. The salary increments usually base on professional competence that is measured overtime. Professional growth in a career of choice is usually directly correlated with competency, competitiveness, and being well informed and aware of the contemporary requirements for duty( Colt, 2007). The career of Medical Dosimetry is no exception to this rule. Indeed there are many ways in which one can approach professional development in this vocation. Several people have argued that lack of involvement in professional development is perhaps the greatest hindrance to professionalism in dosimetry. Despite the abundance resources for professional growth in this vocation, questioned are still asked if the formal education is matched word for word for professional competency.
American Association of Medical Dosimetrists (2013) report that the responsibilities of a medical dosimetrist are often a fine balance between the delivery of prescription already written by physicians and also ensuring that the patients do not lose important and healthy organ functions. In some cases, the medical dosimetrist is also tasked with the role of executing plans for intracavitary, and interstitial brachytherapy procedures. After an extensive planning session, the patient is taken through a simulation process so that the tumor is located with the intention of ensuring the reproducibility of treatment set up and for planning delivery. During this process, the medical dosimetrist observes the setting up of moulds, casts, and other immobilization devices for accurate and prompt treatment. As such the dosimetrists works with the radio therapist for planning the operation that includes the correct application of immobilization devices, the modification of beams, approved field arrangements and other treatment materials.
While the treatment process may seem easy, the advancement of computer technology has placed the medical at dosimetrist the forefront of everything. This requires that one must have an understanding of the equipments, their operations and skills required for their effective use. For example using models such as CT scans or combination with MRI as well as PET scans, a medical dosimetrist can be able to simulate with the aid of 3-D computers a higher visual aid for the radiation accurately. The objective is to lower the harm around the tumor such that non related organs are not affected by the tumor removal. Knowing the saving life is what we do, it is imperative that one have the required knowledge and skills to operate the machines. This is why professional developments aids in the full of understanding of what a medical dosimeterists do.
Although there are changes in professional requirements in the Medical Dosimetry profession, there is not much change related to networking and influencing in the profession. Within the Medical Dosimetry profession, and many other professions, the influence of “who you know” and having mentors in the career can have an impact on success in a profession. The research illustrated the importance of mentorship within the nursing field and how effective mentorship can impact proper training and patient care. The authors evaluated the use of networking for students and the benefits such as an increase in understanding upon entering the field and the opportunity for questions to be answered on a one to one basis.
All health workers agree that client safety is their paramount responsibility. They also agree that a common approach for realization of this goal is elusive. Perhaps, casework practice is the most reliable way that health workers get the hands on way of dealing with cases. It is thus important for health workers to know the dynamics that play out in different cases that they handle. While doing this, health workers grapple with personal values, biases, and experiences with respect to different situations. These issues are impactful on how health workers handle their work with the people in need. These issues also impact performance. Advancement in education is perhaps one way of spelling out standards that can be applied by every situation.