Today in our Professional Profiles Section we introduce you to Marta del Rio, Pilar de la Salud and Eva Toyos, radiation therapy technicians at Onkologikoa.
How long have you been working at Onkologikoa?
We have been working at the hospital for around 12 years.
What does your everyday routine involve? What are your main duties?
Within the Radiotherapy Service, the Radiation Therapy Technician has different functions. In the Simulation department, once the diagnosis has been made and the treatment has been assessed by the Radiotherapist, we are responsible for receiving the patient and, using diagnostic images obtained by CAT, MRI or PET scan, for establishing the required position every day of their treatment.
On the days that the patient comes for their Radiotherapy treatment, the Technician, inside the bunker housing the Linear Accelerator producing the radiation, has the job of placing it in the same position as established on the simulation day and for administering the corresponding treatment.
Radiotherapy is obviously an area that requires advanced technical skills and involves a great deal of responsibility. As well as your technical skill, what is the most important way you can help a patient in your everyday work?
Ours, apart from being a technical job, is a very human job; we have to take account of the level of emotional stress suffered by the patient and, to correctly administer the treatment, we must guarantee that every patient trusts in our ability and professionalism, listening to them and helping them as best we can to make them feel as relaxed and comfortable as possible.
How do you think the world of radiotherapy will evolve? Will we be able to achieve better outcomes with fewer side effects?
Radiotherapy is a discipline which is, technologically, in constant renovation and the evolution of the different treatment techniques is already reducing these side effects, giving way to other increasingly more precise fields of treatment which prevent radiation from affecting healthy organs close to the area of treatment and which we don’t want to receive radiation.
What do you like most about your work?
Perhaps one of the most attractive parts is dealing directly with the patient. We’re talking about Radiotherapy treatment, which generally takes from 10 to 35 sessions and means that you get to know the patient very well. We’ve said that we try to make their time in the Service as pleasant as possible, meaning that seeing the fear leave their faces on these days and seeing them complete the treatment with a big smile as they warmly thank us for our work is the main reason for continuing to do what we do.