Australian radiation therapy: an overview - Part one
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© 2011 The Australian Institute of Radiography. Access to the websites of the Australian Institute of Radiography and The Radiographer journal are available via the Related Links fields.
Over the last century radiation therapy has developed and improved in many facets of treatment delivery. Radiation therapy is now recognised as an important treatment modality for malignant disease. Continued research and development has gradually changed the general medical opinion of radiation therapy. It is now recommended that more than 50% of all cancer patients receive radiation therapy. Background: The development of radiation therapy personnel in Australia started with doctors’ assistants arising from a practical need in the application of treatment. This assistant role gradually extended to a more technical role and saw the birth of the radiation therapist [originally known as radiotherapy technician; therapy radiographer]. The historical progress of this profession in Australia is important to understand for further role development and enhancement of radiation therapists. It is also significant if the profession is to embrace the changes in medical approaches, particularly in oncology, where a bio-psychosocial model of health is rapidly becoming the preferred approach. Part one outlines the history and development of Australian radiation therapy from the discovery of radiation until today. Part two is a subsequent paper providing discussion of Australian radiation therapists’ perspectives on the radiation therapy workplace and work-practices from 1960 until today.
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