Therapeutic radiographers are at the forefront of cancer care, having a vital role in the delivery of Radiotherapy services. They treat cancer patients with x-rays using highly sophisticated equipment. They are also responsible for ensuring that treatment planning and delivery is achieved with absolute precision.
In the treatment of cancer, accuracy is paramount and a variety of highly specialised equipment is available within Radiotherapy Departments to achieve this. Computerised Tomography (CT) simulators employ the latest technology to localise tumours.
Technological advances in linear accelerator design ensure that treatment conforms to patients needs with pinpoint accuracy. Treatment units housing radioactive sources also play a useful role in patient management, as do 3D planning systems.
London South Bank University has invested heavily to ensure that students have access to the best learning tools and staff. There are two dedicated fully equipped skill labs that enable Dosimetry (Radiotherapy treatment planning) and a state of the art virtual environment of a radiotherapy treatment room (VERT).
Communication and care
Alongside the technology, the importance of high standards of communication and care of cancer patients cannot be overestimated. Cancer patients are treated by a multidisciplinary team in which the therapeutic radiographer plays a major role in reducing the sense of vulnerability and promoting patients autonomy.
As a graduate, you'll be eligible to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) as a Radiographer .
The PgDip programme is an accelerated programme over two years, for graduate students who already have a Level 6 qualification. Building on graduate skills you'll develop an enquiring, reflective, critical and innovative approach to Therapeutic Radiography within the context of the rapid changes occurring in the health service.
Top-up to MSc
By adding the research element of a dissertation (an extended and independent piece of written research), you'll be able to graduate with a Masters-level qualification.
On this programme we'll develop you as confident and competent practitioner who practices autonomously, compassionately, skilfully and safely. The programme comprises of five compulsory modules instilling a range of academic knowledge from health sciences to profession specific radiotherapy and oncology practice. And, add a dissertation for the award of a Masters.
Radiation science and technology Applied biological sciences Radiotherapy theory and practice 1
Patient care and resource management in radiotherapy Radiotherapy theory and practice 2 Dissertation (MSc only)
Teaching and learning
Academic theoretical knowledge is gained through taught session led by lecturers and experts in the field, supported by blended learning and self-study activities.
Practical skills are normally developed through practical skills based sessions using VERT and dosimetry software, problem-based approaches and clinical placement.
Types of learning activities include:
• Lectures • Seminars • Enquiry-based learning • Tutorials • Formative assessments • E discussions • Observation and demonstration of practices within clinical placements.
Clinical placements are an essential element of the course. You will spend 50% of your time involved in academic study and 50% in clinical practice within a broad variety of healthcare settings. A clinical practice placement allows you to put theory into practice by working with a range of health professionals in clinical situations to develop the skills, knowledge and experience required to become a competent radiographer. Although sometimes initially challenging, practice learning is one of the most interesting and exciting aspects of learning to be a radiographer.
At LSBU you will experience a variety of clinical settings such as NHS Trusts and the independent sector.
Placements for Therapeutic Radiography include:
• Brighton and Sussex University Hospital: Sussex Cancer Centre • Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust: Kent Oncology Centre • Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust • Royal Surrey Hospital • Queens Hospital, Romford.
Structure of placements
Placements are spread over two years.
The first clinical placement; approximately seven weeks after the start of the course, gives a real taster of the role of the radiotherapy radiographer in the radiotherapy treatment process. It gives you an opportunity to confirm correct choice of career early within the course. Thereafter clinical placements follow the same pattern throughout the course.
Support from a mentor
An identified Link Lecturer and Personal Tutor from the University will be the person you can contact during working day hours whilst on placement with any concerns or questions you are unable to solve otherwise. As there is a close relationship between LSBU and the clinical placement; the Link Lecturer will pay regular scheduled visits to the different sites to meet up with students.
The programme is validated by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and accredited by the Society and College of Radiographers.
Radiotherapy as a career
On successful completion of the course you'll be eligible to register with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) as a therapeutic radiographer.
From helping plan and administering treatment, to explaining it to patients and assessing their responses, therapeutic radiographers are involved in every stage of the treatment process.
Therapeutic radiographers work closely with professionals from other disciplines, are involved in the care and support of the cancer patient and their families through all parts of the patient pathway from the initial referral through to treatment review and follow-up stages. They are predominantly responsible for treatment for the accurate localisation, planning and delivery of ionising radiation.
Therapeutic radiographers need excellent interpersonal skills and emotional resilience as they deal with patients and their families at very difficult and emotional times. Making patients feel comfortable and guiding them through the process can be as important as the technical skills required for this role.
Through the acquisition of a wide range of transferable skills such as psychosocial, organisational, management, technical and scientific skills, individuals are well prepared to work in any situation that best suits their individual expertise and interest.Working as a consultant practitioner is one common career path as well as management, research, clinical work and teaching.
After qualification, clinically experienced therapeutic radiographers may gain additional specialist skills and expertise through the postgraduate, post-registration and continuing professional development frameworks.
LSBU Employability Services
LSBU is committed to supporting you develop your employability and succeed in getting a job after you have graduated. Your qualification will certainly help, but in a competitive market you also need to work on your employability, and on your career search. Our Employability Service will support you in developing your skills, finding a job, interview techniques, work experience or an internship, and will help you assess what you need to do to get the job you want at the end of your course. LSBU offers a comprehensive Employability Service, with a range of initiatives to complement your studies, including:
• Direct engagement from employers who come in to interview and talk to students • Job Shop and on-campus recruitment agencies to help your job search • Mentoring and work shadowing schemes.