Increasing professional development opportunities for radiation oncology professionals in WA to participate in and conduct research
CHALLENGES FOR CONDUCTING RESEARCH
The practicalities of conducting research in the clinical setting are generally challenging, where there is limited time, research facilities and mentorship. Although radiation oncology professionals are trained in research methods at University, service providers in WA in particular have lacked workforce capacity to allow sufficient time for staff to conduct research. In addition, because there has been minimal time available to conduct research, there are consequently too few radiation oncology professionals who have research experience who can provide mentorship to further members of the WA workforce.
A strategy of the Radiation Oncology Workforce Sustainability in WA project is to increase access to research opportunities and mentorship in order to support the professional development and research experience of radiation oncology staff. It has supported seed funding for six small research projects with research mentorship for the successful seed funding applicants. In the future, research education workshops and seminars will be conducted for radiation oncology staff in WA.
INVESTING IN A STRONGER WORKFORCE
It is hoped that this investment of research funding will provide benefits to the current and future radiation oncology workforce in WA, and to the service providers, which will ultimately improve the quality of treatment provided to cancer patients in Western Australia.
FOR CURRENT WORKFORCE PARTICIPANTS:
- learning and practicing research skills;
- advancing their skills in their profession;
- being proactively engaged in the changes and advances being made in radiation therapy;
FOR THE FUTURE WA WORKFORCE:
- implementation of advanced and/or emerging technology treatment procedures;
- building a reputation for research and quality services in WA;
- building research skill capacity in the WA radiation oncology workforce;
- attraction and retention of a more skilled radiation oncology workforce;
- improving the awareness of radiation therapy by other health professionals, including its benefits and services for patients diagnosed with cancer, and reasons to refer patients;
FOR RADIATION THERAPY PATIENTS IN WA:
- improving the amount and quality of translational research;
- expanding the services and care to which patients have access;
- enhancing the quality of treatment and patient care provided to all patients receiving radiation therapy in WA.