Jobs in Radiotherapy

Radiotherapy team

Our Radiotherapy team deliver treatment to approximately 2,300 patients per year. 

These treatments are delivered by our highly skilled therapeutic radiographers, using advanced equipment such as varian linear accelerators, brachytherapy treatment machines, and CT scanners.

Why join us in Radiotherapy?

We are a leading provider of advanced cancer treatments, and our teams are recognised nationally for their groundbreaking work.

The team at Royal Derby Hospital recently won a national award for their innovative work introducing tattoo-free radiotherapy treatment for patients with cancer >.

The team was presented with the award for Most Effective Contribution to Improving Cancer Outcomes at the Health Service Journal's (HSJ) Partnership Awards, on Thursday 23 March 2023 for their work, which was described by the HSJ as "an excellent example of patient-centred care".

We recognise the difficult time patients go through when undergoing a course of radiotherapy treatment, and it is our aim to do everything we can to make the patient journey as smooth as possible. 

We are also an established provider of Lung and Oligometastatic Stereotactic Ablative Radiotherapy (SABR), which can be an alternative to surgery in cancers such as prostate, pancreatic, renal and lung.

What is a therapeutic radiographer?

Laiba, Therapeutic Radiographer, talks about her role based at Royal Derby Hospital.

What's the role of a therapeutic radiographer and what patients do they see?

Radiotherapy is a treatment used to destroy cancer cells, using radiation delivered by a machine called a linear accelerator. The most common types of radiotherapy use high energy x-ray beams, such as photons, but other particles can be used for example protons or electrons.

Therapeutic radiographers play a vital role in the delivery of radiotherapy services and they are the only health professionals qualified to plan and deliver radiotherapy. Therapeutic radiographers are responsible for the planning and delivery of accurate radiotherapy treatments using a wide range of technical equipment. The accuracy of these is critical to treat the tumour and destroy the diseased tissue, while minimising the amount of exposure to surrounding healthy tissue.

Therapeutic radiographers are extensively involved at all stages of the patients' radiotherapy journey. The first stage is pre-diagnosis, which is giving health promotion advice and raising awareness of cancer. Then patient consent is taken by working with patients to enable them to make informed decisions about their treatment options. 

Following consent the pre-treatment preparation and planning takes place, which is the use of sophisticated equipment to scan patients and plan treatments. In addition, the preparation of any required devices takes place to ensure the accurate delivery of treatment. The treatment is then performed through the use of a range of radiotherapy equipment to deliver external beam radiotherapy and brachytherapy (internal radiotherapy treatments). 

Whilst a patient is undergoing treatment there are regular assessments. Many radiographers qualify to prescribe drugs for patients to counteract the side effects of treatment. They are also responsible for the psychosocial wellbeing of their patients whilst they are attending for treatments. Finally, the patient follow up takes place, including the management and care after treatment has finished. 

A growing number of radiographers undertake tumour site specific roles or specialist treatment roles (at both advanced and consultant level practice), where they are responsible for their own patient load from treatment referral, through treatment to post treatment follow up.

They are part of the multi-disciplinary approach to patient management by attending and participating in MDT meetings. These staff provide continuity of care for their patients across their cancer journey, with improved levels of care for their patients as well as efficiency benefits for the service.

Therapeutic radiographers are also involved in clinical research at all levels. This ranges from recruitment to trials through to radiographer led research studies to evaluate the newer technologies and techniques as part of providing evidence based practice.

Radiotherapy service managers are professional qualified managers responsible for the strategic delivery and planning of the service along with the day to day operational management of radiotherapy services. Their professional training and expertise is critical to the provision of safe and efficient radiotherapy services.

Career paths for a therapeutic radiographer

Therapeutic radiographers undertake degree qualified training solely in oncology and the care of cancer patients makes them uniquely qualified to undertake this role. There are three routes of entry.

The BSc (Hons) Radiotherapy is a three year full time course generally split 50:50 with academic and clinical placements. Most universities require five GCSEs at grades 4/5 or above (including English, Maths and Science) and around 120 UCAS points from 3 A levels (this must include at least one natural science) or BTEC in a relevant course.

The pre-registration PgDip/ MSc Radiotherapy (pre-reg) is a two year full time course for students who already have a degree. Similar to the BSc, the course is generally 50:50 in terms of academic and clinical placements. Some universities offer the option to top up the PgDip to a full MSc by completing a research module.

This route usually requires a 2:1 or above in a relevant health, or science subject.

The Therapeutic Radiography apprenticeship has been approved for delivery and offers the opportunity to learn on the job as well as studying modules, which will lead to either a BSc Hons or MSc (pre-reg) in Radiotherapy. Entry requirements on to the course are expected to be similar to those detailed above.

Regardless of route of entry, all prospective students are expected to have spent a minimum of half a day in a radiotherapy department to gain an insight into radiotherapy as a career.

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