Is a career in radiotherapy for you?

Posted on in The trust

South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is holding an open day to encourage both younger and mature students to consider a career ‘at the cutting edge of cancer treatment’ in the challenging but rewarding field of radiotherapy.

Keith Harland, Radiotherapist and Professional Development Facilitator, is organising the open day at The James Cook University Hospital. He said: “Radiotherapy is an exciting, ever-changing profession. We’re at the cutting edge of cancer treatment.

As a specialist cancer centre, we’re a real leader in radiotherapy with the newest equipment and the most up-to-date methods. We’re hoping our open day will attract both young, college-age people considering their career options and mature students with science backgrounds looking to retrain.”

Keith explained that he himself re-trained in later life: “After nearly 30 years in the chemical industry I chose to retrain. Of course, it was a little daunting at first but I find this career so much more rewarding.

“The day-to-day interaction with patients, knowing you’re playing a role in their cancer treatment is a big responsibility but we always make time to get to know each other. You enjoy the rapport and I believe that helps in their long-term treatment.”

A former patient’s view

Former patient Nic Mitchell

Former patient Nic Mitchell

Former patient Nic Mitchell, 63, a higher education communications consultant from Acklam, echoed Keith’s comments.

Nic said: “Thanks to the radiographers my bowel cancer treatment got off to a successful start at The James Cook University Hospital. They put me and others at ease for what is fairly daunting treatment with all the high tech equipment.

“I saw the radiographers every day for five weeks in January and February last year and the team were genuinely interested in my health and wellbeing.

“I had radiotherapy treatment at 9am each day while also taking chemo tablets to shrink the cancerous area in my bowel prior to an operation in April 2015 and the radiographers made the whole experience as stress-free as possible.”

The open day will be held at The James Cook University Hospital (north entrance) on Saturday 15 October 2016, 10am to 12.30pm. It offers the opportunity to tour the department and see the state-of-the-art equipment used by the radiotherapists to treat cancer. Booking is not required.

Keith Harland is happy to discuss career and training options in radiotherapy with people who may not be able to attend the open day. He can be contacted at: keith.harland@stees.nhs.uk.