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Science students inspired by Radiography talk

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Lucy Swain and Sam Whyte from the Department of Radiology at Addenbrooke’s visited Long Road Sixth Form College to speak to Applied Science A level, Physics A level and Biology A level students about Diagnostic and Therapeutic Radiography.

Lucy works in Diagnostic Radiography, which involves CT, MRI and ultrasound as well as 2D x-rays. She talked about radiation safety, putting it into context with background radiation.

Sam works in Therapeutic Radiography and described how radiography is used to treat cancerous tumours and how the process is planned and delivered. She explained that radiography has a good success rate and has fewer side effects than chemotherapy. She explained the use of concrete, lead-lined ‘bunkers’ with double-turn corridors to protect staff administering doses of radiation to patients. These doses are up to a million times stronger than that used in CT scans or normal x-rays.

Lucy and Sam then talked about career opportunities in radiography and what you might need to study Radiography at university: generally at least one science A level or other Level 3 science qualification. However, they stressed that personality is of key importance, especially when dealing with patients who have recently been diagnosed with cancer. There is a shortage of radiotherapists, in particular in diagnostic radiography, so Lucy and Sam encouraged our students  to consider radiography as a career and explained about the importance and availability of work experience.

Paul Andrew, Deputy Department Manager Science, Mathematics and Computing, says: “We are extremely grateful to Lucy and Sam for giving up their time to talk about this worthwhile career. Our long-established links with, and close proximity to Addenbrooke’s and the Cambridge Biomedical Campus mean that we can continue to offer excellent course enrichment and careers advice to our students.”

Photo: LUCY SWAIN (FOURTH FROM LEFT) AND SAM WHYTE (FIFTH FROM LEFT) WITH STUDENTS AND THE BIOLOGY DEPARTMENT SKELETON