Carlos E. de Almeida Ph.D. , FAAPM, FIOMP
Difficult times we are living against this invisible enemy. The disease we treat cannot wait so, the treatment must go on, and the professionals are committed to provide the best possible care to the patient. Staffs over the age of 60 like me, are at home following the activities, discussing the treatment strategies and performing the double check by Internet.
For instance the radiation oncology centers are operating with reduced staff, working every other day but 95 % of the patients are coming for treatment.
New patients are arriving every day, and the medical physicist is normally doing the treatment planning, QA and follow the CT simulation and the first day of treatment as usual.
The entire staff is following strict agreed rules such as using masks, and washing hands and use of alcohol-gel.
Special care is taken to sanitize the treatment couch and the chairs in the waiting rooms. Mask for all patients and companions are difficult to find at the health facilities.
Special attention are being taken with the patients of head an neck since the staff is very close to the area of the patient respiration during the masking positioning and they cannot use a mask in addition to the masks they have to use during treatment. The patients that are being treated simultaneously with chemotherapy are also using masks.
Despite the potential dangers involved, the medical physicists are in the front line, are doing a fantastic job under these adverse conditions.