11 operate skills sharing for Moulding a radiotherapy mask
Moulding a radiotherapy mask has become a routine work for most technicians. However, problems may happen either during the moulding process or while useing the mask for the first treatment session. Renfumed has listed several skills to avoid these issues and to assure high precision, reproducibility and patient comfort based on years of clinical experience.
1. Make sure the temperature of the water bath is between 65 °C and 70 °C (149 °F -158 °F). The ideal temperature for an oven is 75 °C (165 °F). Too hot or too low temperature would cause operation time problems.
2. Stick closely to the heating times in the water bath, which is minimum 2 minutes for an meicen ordinary Mask before the thermoplastic Material fully softened（Hyaline）. When using an oven, the masks can be heated for at least 10 minutes.
3. After taking out the completely softened thermoplastic mask from the water tank, the operation should be quick and agile. Do not spend too much time on drying the mask because this reduces the moulding time. But it do need to Dry the mask sufficiently to avoid hot water from dripping on the patient. So it is necessary to prepare some large towels with good water absorption.
5.Do not mould over the forehead, cheeks or other parts of the face to avoid a mask for patient is too tight. Do not press the eyes of the patient. If necessary you can slightly push the material in both ears to create an extra reference point.
6.Position the mask with the top of the nose hole on the tip of patient‘nose to make sure the patient’nose is sufficiently covered for a stable immobilization.
7.Mould the thermoplastic material over patients’s chin and the bony part of the nose. For those patients with larger head the thermoplastic material sometimes has to be pulled downwards to ensure the chin is completely covered. Chin immobilization ensures that the patient cannot move, tilt or shift the head.
8. Leave the mask on the patient for at least 12-15 minutes to allow it to harden completely.
9. Do not actively push in the neck area when moulding a 5 points mask to prevent excessive pressure in that area cause patient’s uncomfortable.
10. Make sure pick the right mask size for different patients. For heavy or muscled patients a large 5-points mask or a hybrid reinforce mask is more recommended.
11.Explain to the patient what is going to happen as detailed as possible so they will not be surprised by the heat and pressure of the mask and less doubts about the discomfort.