How are radiotherapy students taking on cancer?
Monday 22 May 2017
Reading time: 2 minutes
Becki is in the third year of her radiotherapy degree. She explains why she does what she does, and what a typical day is like.
My working day starts with me helping the radiographers by making sure all the patients' notes and relevant treatment information is where it needs to be to ensure the day's tasks run smoothly.
I'll also check the appointment schedule for the day and make note of any new patients or patients that are due to finish their treatment.
I spend the morning assisting the radiographers with treatment delivery.
One of my jobs is first-day chats – I spend around 10 minutes talking to the patient (and often their family members or carers too) about the treatment process, what to expect each day and the possible side effects they might experience.
Most patients are nervous on their first day of treatment. Often putting them at ease can be as simple as a smile, and reassuring them that we are always there to help and support them.
In between treating and talking to patients, I will also collect inpatients from the wards who are not well enough to come down for treatment by themselves.
I spend my lunch hour in the canteen with fellow radiotherapy students and radiographers. We discuss anything and everything – what we're doing at the weekend, good films we've seen recently, where we hope to go on holiday in the summer. It's important not to get stuck in a world of radiotherapy and uni work – you've got to have a life too!
I spend afternoons either continuing to work with patients or in the hospital library doing uni work and writing my case reports. Case reports are pieces of work that focus upon one particular (anonymised) patient and explain the treatment process from diagnosis to aftercare.
During this time I'll eat dinner, go to the gym, make sure I have a clean uniform for the next day, and catch up with any uni work I'm working on at the time.