The radiotherapy department works very closely with our colleagues at Sheffield Hallam University in providing quality training and education.
Radiotherapy treatment is localised, planned and delivered by a therapy radiographer. Therapy radiographers are Allied Health Professionals (AHPs) who are specifically trained in oncology and radiation treatment. Some of the skills required to be a successful therapy radiographer are:
excellent communication skills
a caring personality, showing empathy for patients with cancer
ability to work as part of a team, be reliable and show initiative
- study academic subjects at degree level
- debate topics and issues
- draw on conclusions from written material
- study independently as well as a member of a group
- use computers and technology associated with contemporary teaching, learning and assessment methods
- successfully complete a range of assignments including researched essays and practical examinations
Therapy radiographers are state registered after the successful completion of a recognised course endorsed by The Society of Radiographers and Health and Care Professions Council.
The James Cook University Hospital is one of two radiotherapy departments in the North East of England. The department trains students from Sheffield Hallam University, developing a collaborative partnership between academic learning and clinical application.
Sheffield Hallam University has an exceptional reputation and is the biggest provider of radiotherapy education in the UK. As well as supporting undergraduate students the university also offers an extensive educational provision at a postgraduate level. Facilities at the university replicate what is seen in practice by working with a Virtual Learning Environment (VERT), state of the art planning equipment and role play with services users.
Routes into the profession
There are two main routes:
- BSc (hons) Radiotherapy and Oncology, this is the traditional route via a three-year degree course, the successful student would become a state registered therapy radiographer.
- Pre-registration MSc Radiotherapy and Oncology in Practice, this is a two-year course (January start) available to applicants who have a previous science related degree. The successful student would become a state registered therapeutic radiographer.
James Cook works in collaboration with Sheffield Hallam University to provide an excellent clinical education for students. The department offers on site accommodation to students who are living away from home.
The staff provide an encouraging, safe and welcoming environment for students to gain the skills required of them to successfully complete the course. As well as traditional placements in radiotherapy, the students are also encouraged to develop their skills by accessing placements in other areas such as chemotherapy, the ward and outpatient clinics.
The department uses state of the art equipment working in tandem with manufacturers such as Elekta to develop pioneering advances in radiotherapy treatment. The teaching staff at Sheffield Hallam University also engage in successful research developments with a number of staff working at doctorate level.
Many students who train at Sheffield Hallam University also go on to be successful in gaining employment in the radiotherapy department. Keith Harland, senior therapy radiographer shares some of his thoughts on his experience following the postgraduate diploma route. Laura Appleby has also recently successfully completed her BSc and gained employment in the department.
Should you wish to know more about a career in radiotherapy please contact Melanie Clarkson, senior lecturer and placement learning tutor, at [email protected]