Addressing practitioner shortfall by developing Western Australian educational opportunities
GRADUATE ENTRY MASTER OF RADIATION THERAPY SCIENCE COURSE
In response to local workforce demand in Western Australia the department of Medical Imaging Science at Curtin University is commencing a Graduate Entry Master of Radiation Therapy Science course in 2014.
There is a shortage of Radiation Therapists both nationally and internationally. In Western Australia there has been an ongoing shortage and consequent drive to recruit from the Eastern States and overseas. This is largely because there is currently no program offered in WA. Efforts to develop the local workforce through education providers in other states have had limited success.
Medical Imaging Science has received Curtin University endorsement to commence a Graduate Entry Master program in response to concerns raised by the industry that recent and future expansion of Radiation Oncology services in WA will exacerbate the existing shortfall of suitably qualified practitioners.
The course aims to graduate work-ready Radiation Therapists who will not require an internship or Professional Development Year (PDY). The two-year plus summer semester program will therefore provide a rapid route to graduates for the local industry. A mixed delivery method with local clinical placements ensuring work-integrated learning will be attractive to post-graduate students. AHPRA has been contacted about the commencement of the course, and the professional accrediation process will be managed during the progress of the first student cohort.
Joint discussions with private and public sector industry representatives strongly indicate that the course, which will offer twenty places each year, would see graduates readily absorbed into the WA workforce. This demand is likely to be sustained overtime given the ageing workforce, growing population and continued increase in the burden of cancer disease.
MAKING TOMORROW BETTER
The workforce shortages, coupled together with an increasing demand for radiation oncology services, means significant investment in the training of qualified experts in this field is required.Dr Georgia HalkettRadiation Therapy, Curtin University
Curtin is addressing this concern by developing a Graduate Entry Master of Radiation Therapy Science degree which, with University approvals in place, we hope to commence in March 2014.Dr Georgia HalkettRadiation Therapy, Curtin University