What makes a good Therapeutic Radiographer?

We asked Course Leader of the BSc (Hons) Radiography (Radiotherapy and Oncology) course at AECC University College, Shelley Blane, to reflect on what makes a good Therapeutic Radiographer.

She shares her thoughts: “Anyone who works in Radiotherapy needs to have that caring and compassionate nature that all NHS professions require. You are going to be looking after cancer patients who are going to be dealing with a lot in their lives.

“Being a good communicator is important because in Radiotherapy you will always work in a team. The doses of radiation that we are giving are large and so everything is checked over and over again.

“You’ve got to be able to communicate within your team and you’ve got to communicate with your patient too. That’s a real skill in my view. You’ve got to pick up quite quickly the tone that you want to take with this particular patient.

"Some people need you to be a little bit firmer and very professional: they want the reassurance that they are in the hands of someone who know what they are doing.

"Other patients need you to be a little bit more caring and gentle in your approach, to make them feel more comfortable in that environment.

“Radiotherapists also need to be able to pick up on when a patient comes in and isn’t quite themselves that day. It’s taking the time to take them aside and ask them how they are doing and checking to see if there’s anything they want to talk about.

“Then there’s the technical side of Radiotherapy. You have to be precise and accurate and have that attention to detail to make sure your patient is going to be in the right position.”

You can read more about our undergraduate Radiography courses here