Meet Elise. Elise’s journey to radiotherapy began when she supported a family member receiving cancer treatment. She is now a qualified Therapeutic Radiographer, who has worked for the NHS and in the private sector.
|Year of graduation
|Course of study
|BSc (Hons) Radiotherapy and Oncology
Her ideal university
Elise had wanted to work in healthcare since childhood and discovered radiotherapy whilst supporting a family member receiving treatment for breast cancer. Elise says, ‘I visited a radiotherapy department and saw how therapeutic radiotherapy worked. It combines the best patient care with the latest science, and the treatment is unique in the fact that you treat patients for up to seven weeks. You get to know their situation and families very well, as you’re there for a large part of their cancer journey.’
For Elise, Herts was her ideal university. She says, ‘Herts is close to London, with good transport links that are great for going on placement and visiting home. It’s also a campus-based institution, with all the amenities you need on-site such as shops, pharmacies, and places to socialise.’
Elise was the first person in her immediate family to go to university and admitted that she was nervous when she started her course at Herts, but she met two of her best friends on her first day here. She says, ‘When we discovered that we all shared a birthday in the same week, we knew it was meant to be. We are still close, and we are looking forward to our first holiday together soon.’
Elise wanted a course that combined in-class theory with a placement, which in her words, ‘gave me the opportunity to apply what I had learned in a work environment.’ She adds, ‘Our tutors were also very supportive, particularly when you went on placement. You still felt connected to the University and its support system throughout.’
At Herts, Elise was encouraged to take on extracurricular activities that complimented her learning. She was a Student Representative, she completed a student leadership programme, and she took part in a specialist proton beam therapy placement where she was invited to share her learning with peers once she returned to campus. Elise adds, ‘Throughout my course, you were encouraged to study and work with students from other healthcare professions, which prepared me well for interdisciplinary working once I qualified.’
At graduation, Elise received a Silver Go Herts Award in recognition of her engagement with extracurricular activities outside her course.
Her career and advice
Elise is now a Health and Care Professions Council registered Therapeutic Radiographer, who has worked in both the NHS and private sector. She says, ‘I love my job. It’s rewarding to be able to make a difference to patients every day. My degree at Herts gave me the knowledge and skills I needed to be a safe healthcare worker, and it opened my eyes to possible career paths I could take.’ She is now hoping to complete a postgraduate course and find her ideal specialism within cancer care.
Her advice to current and future Herts students is to make use of the support available here. She says, ‘Herts has an excellent careers support service, so it’s worth speaking to them if you need help with your CV or an application.’