WSLHD Radiation Therapists like Roshan are helping people with cancer through their most vulnerable moments

Roshan Rao, a Masters of Radiation Therapy student from Monash University, is only three weeks into his radiation therapy career at Westmead Hospital and is already having a profound impact on the team through his dedication and enthusiasm for his work.

Crediting the Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD) mentors who are providing support and education on his journey, Roshan is quick to encourage others to explore radiation therapy career pathways.

“My excitement for radiation therapy stems not only from the chance to engage in a continuously evolving field and a dedication to lifelong learning but also from the privilege of making a genuine positive impact in the lives of people living with cancer during their most vulnerable moments,” Roshan said.

“This aspect has been both incredibly rewarding and affirming throughout my clinical placements.

I cannot emphasise enough the profound impact of my interactions with cancer patients. Over the course of their treatment, we build meaningful relationships, discovering that they are more than just individuals battling tumors. They place their trust in us, forming a vital support network. Witnessing their return after successful treatment, cancer-free or in remission, and witnessing their joy upon completing their treatments, is undeniably one of the most rewarding aspects of this profession.

Roshan Rao

Roshan has worked and volunteered around the world, telling The Pulse that he finds great fulfillment from making positive contributions to the lives of others.

With a background in public health and medical science, Roshan has been able to combine these passions in his career in radiation therapy, and takes the position of helping those on their cancer recovery journeys very seriously.

“Working in radiation therapy is truly captivating as the field thrives on substantial research efforts geared towards enhancing cancer care, and outcomes.

“Constant advancements in technology empower us to precisely target a patient’s cancer, administering treatment while minimising side effects. The diversity in our role enables us to utilise various skills and collaborate with fellow health professionals to address the patient holistically, beyond just treating cancer.

“Hearing questions from patients and their families, like ‘Will I glow in the dark?’ or ‘Will I get superpowers like the Hulk?’ always keeps things interesting too!”

WSLHD Director of Radiation Therapy, Jillian Harris, said that the rapid technological advances in this field of medicine make it a very exciting career avenue.

“We are now able to treat people in ways we could not dream of only five years ago,” she said.

“As technology continues to evolve, our ability to treat patients in different ways will keep developing and as radiation therapists, we are at the forefront of that development.

“Without a doubt, the ability to help people when they are at an exceptionally vulnerable position in their lives is the most rewarding park of working in this field.

“As Radiation Therapists see patients daily for up to 33 treatments, we get to develop an excellent professional relationship with them enabling us to put them at ease and make a real difference to their lives at this vulnerable time. Many patients call in to say ‘hello’ each time they visit the hospital even years after they have completed their treatment with us and it is always wonderful to see them health and happy.”

If you are interested in a career in radiation therapy, please click here for a free information session at 6.30pm on Tuesday, 13 February with Monash University.