Michelle Tyler has recently joined the Society and College of Radiographers’ team as Professional Outreach Officer - Therapeutic Radiography, and is currently working on the Strategic Interventions in Health Education Disciplines Programme (SIHED) to promote the profession to school and college students across the UK.
“The SIHED programme is a £3 million, three-year initiative to help build the sustainability of four key allied health professions, therapeutic radiography being one,” says Michelle.
“The programme focuses on activities to support recruitment and retention to undergraduate courses, and strengthen pathways into the professions for young people and mature students.”
Michelle’s focus is to work with members to promote and increase recruitment to therapeutic radiography programmes. It is well known that there have been serious concerns about recruitment to programmes in England with withdrawal of bursaries and the impact is being seen.
“I will be working in parallel with four other AHP Outreach Officers (podiatry, prosthetists & orthotists and orthoptics) all of whom come from a variety of backgrounds. This is an opportunity to blend expertise to strengthen how we promote each of our individual professions,” says Michelle.
“I will be working with target schools, colleges, education providers and oncology centres. As SoR members the work you do in promoting the profession and educating the public about the important work we do to deliver cancer services, is essential. I have seen first-hand from my radiotherapy service management, education, training and clinical roles, that we can and will make a huge impact to this important work if we collaborate together.
“The minute I arrived in this role I starting hearing about some excellent ideas from SCoR networks and members, as well as offers of support from our radiography community. It’s been fantastic to hear so much enthusiasm and motivation for this important work.”
Here’s a simple and quick way you can make a difference today, tomorrow and beyond, suggests Michelle:
“It is essential we are known as ‘Therapeutic Radiographer’ I’ve witnessed debate about this but this is what we are professionally registered as right now by the HCPC. So I would call you to unite and ensure we speak the same message in literature, conversations, and any public facing materials or media.
“Why? Well our target audience, eg young people in schools/colleges and mature students, may never have heard of any healthcare work other than possibly nurses or doctors. Using our current professional title will minimise confusion to reach those who have not heard of our roles and what we do.”
If you have any ideas that you would like to put forward or you’d like to be involved in this work, Michelle would love to hear from you.