South West Wales Cancer Centre holds radiotherapy open day for career outreach

The centre invited sixth form students to meet the team and discover the technology used by Therapeutic Radiographers in their roles

Published: 08 May 2024 Radiotherapy

The South West Wales Cancer Centre has held its first radiotherapy open day, allowing students to meet the team and get insight into the role of a radiographer.

Sixth form students were invited to the South West Wales Cancer Centre (SWWCC) on 2 March  for the first of several planned events, as part of the department’s commitment to career promotion and outreach.

Students met the team and got a behind the scenes look at the technology and equipment used in radiotherapy.

A group of Therapeutic Radiographers ran the event, with students spending three hours in the SWWCC across different sessions.

A broad overview

Students were given a broad overview of radiotherapy, before attending a CT session to see Therapeutic Radiographers demonstrating a CRAD guided breath-hold scan (in which patients hold their breath for more accurate imaging).

They also demonstrated the linear accelerator session, and a spokesperson for the SWWCC explained the team highlighted the work ethos and gave insight into the software used, both in and out of the treatment room.

One of the departmental advanced practitioners discussed role extension, the different imaging processes, advancements in the technology, and the work of the review team. 

Nicki Davies, SWWCC radiotherapy services manager, said: “I am extremely proud of the work in the department to ensure a sustainable workforce. We hope to expand on the hard work undertaken to offer more open days in the future.”

The third year students on placement also attended to discuss the ambassador role, what the course is like, and how different aspects such as bursaries, course content, interviews and job prospects function.

Galvanising the profession

The open day concept was introduced following attendance to the local sixth form Careers Fair in autumn by the team, with staff reporting a more effective and engaging approach would be to invite students to the department to see the machinery and technology in person.

All secondary schools in the Swansea Bay NHS Trust demographic were invited to attend, and all visitors rated the visit as “excellent” or “very good”. Three attendees revisited the department the following month for a more in-depth visit.

Catherine Davies, clinical development lead radiographer at the SWWCC, said: “As a department, we are very proud of the first open day and plan to repeat the event later in the year, galvanising our department's commitment to showcasing the profession and role of the Therapeutic Radiographer."

(Image: (L-R) Beth Williams, Mark Stewart, Rebecca Hunter, Ailish McGrail, Nia O'Rourke, Catherine Davies and Joe Singh)