Lecturers at Sheffield Hallam University are trying to encourage more young people to consider a career in radiotherapy with a series of open events at hospitals aimed at tackling the increasing demand for patients receiving the treatment.
With radiotherapy techniques significantly improving and the average UK life expectancy rates rising, the National Radiotherapy Implementation Group (NRIG) has predicted that the number of radiographers will need to increase by 39% by 2016 in order to sustain the service.
In an attempt to raise awareness of Radiotherapy as both a cancer treatment and as a career path, Sheffield Hallam is hosting a series of open days at its partner hospitals in Leeds and Leicester giving local school pupils the chance to look around the Radiotherapy departments and their facilities as well as speak to clinical staff and patients about the treatment process.
A separate event is also being held for those currently working within the healthcare profession who are considering a change in careers.
Jo McNamara, senior lecturer in radiotherapy and oncology at Sheffield Hallam, said: "Research has shown that approximately 45% of all cancer patients receive radiotherapy as part of their cancer treatment but the Department of Health have suggested that the figure should be around 52%.
"Not a lot of people have a great deal of knowledge about radiotherapy as a treatment method and we want to change that by encouraging people to think about a career in this rewarding area of healthcare.
"By holding these open days, it gives people a better idea of what they can expect and they can see and hear first-hand from those who have experienced radiotherapy as a career path and as a treatment."
The open day events will be held at;
St James University Hospital, Bexley Wing on Friday 4th October, 6.30pm - 8.30pm, for healthcare professionals and Saturday 5th October, 10am - 2pm for the general public.
Leicester Royal Infirmary, Osborne Building on Thursday 21st November 5.30pm - 7.30pm for the general public.