Royal Prince Alfred Hospital Royal Prince Alfred Hospital
Radiation Oncology

Who we are

Your radiotherapy treatment relies upon a large number of highly skilled professionals, working together to provide the best care and support.

During your time at the Department of Radiation Oncology, you will most likely come across some if not all of the members of our team at different stages of your radiotherapy treatment.
The staff include:
The role of each staff is explained briefly below.
The administration staff are involved in organising, planning and managing bookings and appointments.
They are also responsible for all patient medical records.
It is the first point of contact for all patients.
Radiation Oncologists are doctors who specialise in the treatment of cancer patients, using radiation therapy as the main treatment.
They prescribe the amount of radiation dose to be given to the patient, and work together with the Radiation Therapists to work out the best treatment for each individual patient.
Radiation Oncologists will see patients throughout their treatment to ensure that any side effects are managed.
Radiation Therapists plan and deliver the radiation therapy, and observe patients during treatment.
Patients will see the radiation therapists every day for treatment.
Radiation Therapists will closely monitor patients’ progress and assist patients with any concerns or problems they may be having.
The nursing staff are involved in the delivery of patient care and support though educating patients and managing side effects.
They also assist with certain radiotherapy procedures, administering medication, dressings and other nursing issues.
Nursing staff also liaise with other multidisciplinary teams such as social worker, community and palliative care team, physiotherapy and lymphodema.
Physicists setup, test and perform quality assurance on high technology radiotherapy equipment and software used to treat patients.
They may also assist in performing dose measurements for patients who have a cardiac monitor.
They also participate in research that improves treatments and outcomes.
The information technology team is responsible for maintaining and troubleshooting through the patient information systems. 
In addition, the team provides technical support for all department staff members, and performs regular maintenance of the computer systems.
Medical Engineering staff are responsible for maintaining the machines and fixing problems as required.
During your treatment time, there may be a scheduled down day when routine maintenance is performed.
The role of the dietician is to provide patients with advice on food and nutrition during treatment.
Dieticians will work with the doctors and nurses to develop the correct food plan for the patient based on the medical needs.
Not all patients are required to see the dietician; however the doctor or radiation therapist will refer you if necessary.
Speech pathologists are trained in the assessment and management of swallowing, speech, voice and communication disorder.
They are available to assist in the management of swallowing difficulties, dry mouth, voice changes, all of which may be experienced by those who are receiving radiation therapy treatment in the head and neck region.
The speech pathologist can help by providing advice about some simple strategies such as swallowing techniques, appropriate voice use, vocal hygiene techniques and product options to assist with these problems.
Not all patients require speech pathologist review however the doctor or radiation therapist will refer you if necessary.
The role of the social worker is to offer support and assistance with a range of practical needs, including accommodation, transport, finances, discharge planning, and referral for appropriate community/support services.   
The Social worker provides assistance to patients and their families to manage and understand the diagnosis and treatment.
They are trained in working with families, bereavement, crisis, individual and group counselling.
Social workers adhere to a strict rule of confidentiality in dealings with patients and their families, and the service is free of charge.
The clinical trials co-ordinators are responsible for looking after the patient and trial.
A clinical trial is a research study designed to test the safety and effectiveness of a treatment.
Clinical trials are an essential step in the process of developing new treatments, or improving on existing treatments.