Insight into Radiation with Tanya Grant

Studied at: Queensland University of Technology
Current student or graduate: Graduate
Current employment: Supervised Practice Position as a Radiation Therapist at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital (RBWH)

What do you do in your profession: As part of the cancer care services team, Radiation Therapists image, plan and treat people with cancer according to the dose individually prescribed by Radiation Oncologists in order to kill cancers/ tumours.                                            

Common misconceptions:  Radiation causes a burn. In fact, it causes an inflammatory reaction due to cellular DNA damage.                                       

Favourite things about the job: I get to help people from all walks of life. The job is challenging and requires many different skill sets, especially communication and teamwork.                                            

Tips: Long after people have forgotten what you did, they will remember the way you made them feel.  I am presently scoping a project on improving Indigenous Cancer Care Services at RBWH. Cancer is a chronic disease commonly shrouded in shame and fear for Indigenous people. I believe by engaging community, sharing knowledge, changing behaviours that increase the risk of cancer, we can significantly impact health outcomes for future generations.
Going to the IAHA conference last year made me feel as though I wasn’t powerless to make a difference; all I needed was to take some action and try to make a difference, so that is what I am doing. The senior staff in Radiation Oncology have been very encouraging and are enthusiastic about the project too. I am reading the NSW Health Indigenous Sexual Health document which provides some great practical ideas about how to improve community engagement and self-determination, communication and access.

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