Radiation Oncology History/Education/Social Media

PV QA 3 - Poster Viewing Q&A 3

TU_45_2933 - A Pilot Education Program to Train and Empower Radiation Oncology Medical Assistants

Tuesday, October 23
1:00 PM - 2:30 PM
Location: Innovation Hub, Exhibit Hall 3

A Pilot Education Program to Train and Empower Radiation Oncology Medical Assistants
M. J. Xu1, E. Ramirez1, T. Buckmeier1, C. C. Park1, and S. E. Braunstein2; 1University of California San Francisco, Department of Radiation Oncology, San Francisco, CA, 2University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA

Purpose/Objective(s): Medical assistants (MAs) lack formal oncologic subspecialty training but frequently play the frontline role in patient care and assessment. We sought to develop an oncologic training curriculum for MAs.

Materials/Methods: A needs assessment was conducted among MAs within the Radiation Oncology Department. A resident-led curriculum was designed to improve MA knowledge base, with pre- and post-surveys using 5-point Likert scales: strongly disagree (1), disagree (2), neutral (3), agree (4), and strongly agree (5). A first quarter survey was administered after three monthly lectures to assess educational and clinical impact. Wilcoxon matched-pair sign rank tests were used to compare pre- and post-survey scores.

Results: Three MAs (60%) responded to the needs assessment survey. MAs received zero hours per month of formal lecture on clinical oncology and zero hours of educational material directed toward their scope of practice, but were unanimously interested in topics ranging from oncologic medications to the role of radiation in treating cancer to nutrition support during therapy. We secured one hour per month of protected time and designed a curriculum with the following priorities: applicability to daily work, elevating responsibilities within scope of practice, expanding clinical knowledge base, and increasing intellectual curiosity. Overall, MAs reported higher post-session comfort level with each of the covered topics (p<0.01). The greatest score increases (more than 2 points on the Likert scale) were in understanding how to maximize responsibilities within scope of practice (e.g. the MA role in a code blue and patient medication management), expansion of clinical knowledge base (components of a prescription, common therapeutic and symptom-directed medications among cancer patients), and identification of available resources for further learning. All five MAs (100%) responded to the first quarter review. Education sessions were felt to be clear, comprehensive, relevant, informative, and empowering, with each category scoring a median of 4 (agree) or 5 (strongly agree). Prior to initiating education sessions, MAs felt neutral about their knowledge base and confidence at work, with each category scoring a median of 3 (neutral). After the first quarter, MAs reported increased empathy, confidence, job satisfaction, knowledge base regarding daily practice and general oncology, and access to education resources, with each category scoring a median of 4 (agree) or 5 (strongly agree).

Conclusion: Monthly MA didactics can be feasibly implemented to fill a needed gap in education. Education sessions prioritizing applicability to the MA workflow can improve staff confidence, empowerment, and job satisfaction. Future work will focus on measuring MA-initiated improvements in patient care and explore opportunities to enhance interprofessional education within our Department.

Author Disclosure: M.J. Xu: None. E. Ramirez: None. T. Buckmeier: None. C.C. Park: Research Grant; NIH. Honoraria; NIH. Consultant; Oncosynergy, Ltd. Stock; Oncosynergy. Patent/License Fees/Copyright; Oncosynergy. Department Chair; UCSF Radiation Oncology. S.E. Braunstein: Advisory Board; Radiation Oncology Questions, LLC.

Send Email for Melody Xu


Assets

TU_45_2933 - A Pilot Education Program to Train and Empower Radiation Oncology Medical Assistants



Attendees who have favorited this

Please enter your access key

The asset you are trying to access is locked. Please enter your access key to unlock.

Send Email for A Pilot Education Program to Train and Empower Radiation Oncology Medical Assistants