Sittin’ On the Dock of the San Francisco Bay: Recap of the ASRT/ASTRO Radiation Therapy Conference
Posted Oct. 15, 2014
By Sandra Hayden, M.A., R.T.(T), ASRT President-elect
Each year that I get the opportunity to present an educational lecture at the ASRT/ASTRO Radiation Therapy Conference, I am so very proud to contribute to this awesome event. San Francisco is a beautiful city full of great restaurants, wine and shopping, and the conference is a chance to learn, to share knowledge with colleagues, and to make lasting connections and provide others with knowledge. Those who attend the conference learn about how ASRT supports radiation therapists and medical dosimetrists, as well as how they can better help their patients. While they’re at it, they enjoy opportunities to network and to find out more about products and services represented by vendors at the conference.
For me, a highlight of the conference was hearing ASRT’s CEO, Dr. Sal Martino, address the attendees and to be seated with ASRT President Bill Brennan. Dr. Martino’s talk emphasized the benefits of membership in the ASRT, including educational services, and while he was speaking to the radiation therapists and medical dosimetrists in attendance, his broader message tied in to the advocacy efforts that are such an important part of what our members do.
Those attending the conference were able to enjoy not just opportunities to network and learn; they were also excited to find themselves benefiting from the many giveaways happening during the event. The ASTRO booths featured highlights including the latest and greatest treatment equipment, planning software, simulators and devices, while the smaller booths at the Radiation Therapy Conference itself were easily accessible and were catered specifically to radiation therapists and medical dosimetrists. The vendors took the time to demo products and teach attendees about their devices and services. Various organizations for our accreditation and credentialing were also in attendance, including JRCERT and ARRT, and we were able to interact with some of these leaders and hear them speak. We also heard from educators as well as radiation therapists and medical dosimetrists at our open forums and mini chapter meetings.
I’d like to say how much I appreciated the efforts of ASRT’s staff toward making this a great event – the senior staff was in full force, the registration process was smooth and the A/V team made sure everything ran smoothly as well. My thanks to the entire ASRT staff. You all were on the ball!
At the end of the day, we do what we do for our patients – we advocate for their safety. The Radiation Therapy Conference provides an opportunity to see things from the patients’ perspective, in part by mingling with many of the other medical specialists who work in radiation oncology: dietitians, physicians, physicists, and child-life specialists, among others, were all represented at the Radiation Therapy Conference. Having this diverse roster of attendees was an important reminder that the work of medical dosimetrists and radiation therapists is so vitally important to patients undergoing cancer treatments; we are a major piece of the puzzle that comes together to work toward a patient’s successful treatment.
In conclusion, as you read this blog post keep in mind that October 16 is Boss’s Day, my birthday and, in the Midwest, every seven years on Saturday it is Sweetest Day!
Take care, everyone, and know that the ASRT is here for you!