Radiation Therapists are part of the Oncology team that treats patients with cancer. We at Higgins Insurance value the difference they make in people lives and today we are so proud to share with you an Interview with Stephanie McIntosh Lawrence, a Radiation Therapist, for students that might want to consider Radiation Therapist as a chosen field.
Here at Higgins Insurance, we have started a new education series on some professionals who work in different fields to help students think about professions that they may be interested in. We will be highlighting them throughout this year and they will range from correctional officers, social workers, doctors, 911 operators, police, nurses, education support staff, arts, housekeepers, etc. If you would like to be featured, please let us know by email (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Our goal is to inspire our youth so they can learn more about different professions, as well as to showcase the amazing people that perform those jobs in the Maritimes.
Here is our interview with Stephanie McIntosh Thank You
Why did you become a Radiation Therapist & how do you become one?
I've known for as long as I can remember that I wanted to do something in the medical field. For years I wanted to become a doctor but when my nana was diagnosed and died of stomach cancer in my 3rd year of university, I decided to explore the cancer world and learned about Radiation Therapy. When I trained 25 years ago, it was a 2 year diploma program with high school as a prerequisite. Now it is a Bachelor of Health Science in Radiation Therapy.
What has been your most rewarding aspect of your profession?
The most rewarding part of my job is the relationship that is formed with patients and between patients and seeing them come back years later for check ups. Our profession is somewhat unique in the medical field in that we see some of our patients every day for 8 weeks and really get to know them and their families. I love to see the relationships develop between patients and the support and understanding and even joking that eventually goes on between them.
What do you say to people who want to become a Radiation Therapist?
In my opinion, Radiation Therapy is one of the best professions in the medical field due to the combination of hi tech technology, patient care and work/life balance. We basically use high energy ionizing radiation to kill cancer cells. The technology that is used is constantly developing and evolving which means there is ongoing opportunity for learning and furthering your career, but for me, the best part of being a radiation therapist is the rewarding feeling you get, knowing that you truly made a difference in the lives of not only your patients but also their entire family. There is no overnight shift work or weekends and we can work pretty much anywhere in the world.
Leave us with a fun fact about your occupation?
It is assumed that Radiation Therapy is a sad, depressing place to work but it is actually just the opposite. Although there are heart wrenching cases, for the most part we sing and joke all day long with our patients. I think patients are surprised and appreciate the upbeat, fun loving supportive atmosphere when they walk into our department.