Staff in the Radiation Oncology unit donned retro revival outfits, and dined on Scotch eggs, cocktail onions and bombe Alaska to honour to the birth of technical innovations which are still delivering results for patients today, and to celebrate the work of radiation therapists across the world.
NCCI employs 18 radiation therapists, who range from graduate placements to highly experienced therapists with world-wide expertise.
Richard Ford is a senior radiation therapist who trained in Canada and worked overseas and in Western Australia before moving to Lismore to work at NCCI 4 years ago.
Richard has been in the field of radiation therapy for 15 years and says he enjoys developing great relationships with patients during their treatment period, as well as the flexibility to travel the world working in different places.
“The best thing for me has been the patient interaction. I love the technical side of things but if I had a choice, I prefer the hands on patient interaction over the technical side,” Richard said.
“I’ve always worked in big cities, so it was nice to come to a regional centre. I’m enjoying a more rural lifestyle, and we’re so close to the ocean and to brilliant cities, it’s an absolutely fantastic place to live.”
Radiation therapists work as part of a multidisciplinary team in radiation oncology units, and use medical imaging equipment and computer software to help ensure patients receive effective doses of radiation at the site of a tumour, while minimising the radiation exposure to healthy surrounding tissue.
Radiation therapists complete a four-year university degree, with training placements in the final year. NCCI radiation therapist tutor, Kath Dower, trains students throughout the year as well as delivering treatment to patients and conducting research. She has been with the centre since its construction days, and enjoys the variety her role provides.
“I enjoy getting to know patients and helping them to get better, and I also love teaching students and new graduates,” Kath said.