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Simulated Troubleshooting Session for Medical Physics Resident Rotations

X Tang

X Tang*, S Wang, S Chang, K Burkhardt, E Schreiber, M Lawrence, Univ North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC

WE-G-BRA-5 Wednesday 4:30:00 PM - 6:00:00 PM Room: Ballroom A

Purpose: Troubleshooting is a difficult to train, but critical skill for a clinical medical physicist. It is unlikely that residents will have opportunities to troubleshoot many real clinical scenarios during a typical 3 month rotation. The ability to analyze and correct abnormal clinical situations is imperative to providing safe radiation therapy care. We have developed a novel strategy to train medical physics residents to gain such important clinical physics skill.

Methods: Simulated troubleshooting sessions were designed for each rotation, featuring problematic clinical scenarios. The resident was required to troubleshoot each scenario in a given time frame. Using a brachytherapy rotation as an example, the transfer tubes connecting the afterloader to the Tandem and Ovoids (T&O) applicators were purposely inserted incorrectly. The resident was asked to deliver a dummy T&O plan in a reasonable time frame including troubleshooting all problems that may occur. Many simulated troubleshooting situations were presented to the resident. Two residents went through a 3 month brachytherapy rotation, one with and the other without the simulated troubleshooting session. All other rotation activities were the same. At the end of the rotation, an oral exam was given to test how well the residents understood the brachytherapy clinical practice.

Results: Both residents were able to pass the exam. However, the resident that received the troubleshooting session performed better'"a superior understanding of the reasons behind the clinical practice and better troubleshooting skills were demonstrated.

Conclusions: To train residents to better handle the clinical situations, it is important to include a simulated troubleshooting session into clinical rotations. Simulated troubleshooting sessions are excellent and necessary supplements to the clinical rotations for the residents to gain practical clinical skills.

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