UF Health Proton Therapy Institute radiation therapists are highly skilled medical professionals who are board certified and take continuing education classes to maintain state and national licensure. One of the many requirements to obtain the designation of a radiation therapist is they must become Basic Life Support (BLS) certified. BLS certification prepares an individual to administer CPR or other life-sustaining interventions in case a patient or coworker is nonresponsive. Recently, 15 of the Institute’s radiation therapists advanced their skills and added another layer of protection for pediatric patients by completing a 16-hour course in Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS).
“We’re one of the largest pediatric proton centers in the world. Parents can rest assured that everyone who has direct contact with their child has advanced training,” said Trevor Fleming, director of technical services and manager of the radiation therapists. “Less than one percent of therapists in the U.S. are PALS certified.”
PALS certification is beneficial because there are differences in the way life support is administered to children versus adults. Having the knowledge and skills to intervene quickly in the event of an emergency can make a big impact in the patient’s outcome. “Understanding how to rapidly react in a moment of time could mean the difference for someone’s child,” said Fleming. “We feel we have added another layer of protection for our pediatric patients, strengthening an already incredible team of professionals here. It’s one more confidence-builder for parents whose children require our unique technology.”
Physicians and nurses are with patients as the first line of defense, and now, PALS-certified radiation therapists are an added safety net. “This is different than other proton centers. It’s one more step we’ve made to better the level of care here,” said Fleming.