‘What is it that you do again?’

Here’s to a short and sweet post dedicated to my dear family and friends who aren’t quite sure of what my job really involves and have many a times put on a shocked or saddened face when pretending to understand what I am going on about as I walk through the door tired and ready to eat anything in sight.

First things first, yes my main responsibility is carrying out radiotherapy treatment that helps to treat cancer but no, that does not mean I come home depressed each day. Believe it or not, I enjoy my job and honestly cannot see myself leaving this career and instead only hope to progress within it as best as my ability will allow. Parts of the job can be tough, demanding and stressful but it is rewarding in other paths. There’s a mix of emotions attached, like any job, some days can be easier than others and some can start that way but then the atmosphere changes within minutes and you will find yourself rushing to multitask different duties all required at the same time through no fault of your own. Some may imagine this to be a nightmare and without the right resources, it certainly can be but it is also one of the main reasons that the job is interesting and the best knowledge and experience comes from days like these and helps you to prepare for the next time it may occur.

The real question on most of your minds is ‘what is radiotherapy’ and do I x-ray broken bones? A simple answer to that is no, do not come running to me telling me that you know so-and-so who works in radiology – that means nothing to me and the last thing I could do is tell you what bones you’ve broken. So what is radiotherapy? To put it simply, a large looking shower head/transformer type machine that powers high energy x-rays to a focal point within a patients body to treat their cancer, whether it be to cure, control symptoms or used in conjunction with other treatments such as chemotherapy and/or surgery, even internal radiotherapy for certain diagnoses. The job doesn’t stop there. There are a number of requirements that in my eyes are even bigger than being able to operate a pricey piece of advanced technology and mainly this is directed at care. We see and deal with the most vulnerable people and not only them but their families and those who may depend on them and it can often be a world wind of emotion. Saying that, we also meet the most positive and inspiring people who despite what cards they have been dealt, can see only one way forward and that is through determination and strength. Our job is to encourage them throughout this treatment but let them be in charge, give them the essential information they need but also to be a listener in times whereby talking to their loved ones is too much pressure to contend with. I came across a blog post at the end of last year which you can access here for a little eye opener on the job.

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