While studying Health Sciences First Year at the University of Otago’s Dunedin campus, James Sandison attended an introductory seminar about Radiation Therapy after noticing the slogan ‘technology meets caring’.
“I’ve always had a passion to work in healthcare, and an interest in technology, so naturally my attention was drawn”, he says.
After researching more about Otago’s Radiation Therapy, James realised it was the right choice for him. The following year he moved to Wellington to study RT.
“I’ve had plenty of opportunities to gain hands-on experience with patients in a supportive environment, which ultimately enabled me to go through the transition of putting the academic concepts learnt in the classroom, into practice”, he says.
“The [RT] programme also provided me an opportunity to socially meet fellow students throughout the Wellington campus, and build relationships and bonds which last well beyond the completion of the degree.”
Soon after finishing his studies, James gained employment as New Graduate Radiation Therapist at Auckland City Hospital. After an initial six-month contract, he was offered permanent employment as a Staff Radiation Therapist.
He’s now planning to travel to Italy to attend the European Society for Radiotherapy and Oncology International Conference (ESTRO), and is considering future postgraduate study—to develop both clinically and academically.
Reflecting on how his life’s changed since attending that seminar in Dunedin, James also points out his newfound attention to detail. “Due to the nature of radiation, we work to millimetre accuracy in all that we do, so it’s pivotal to have an eye for detail. Now in my out-of-work life I am conscious of things being spot-on accurate—which has all developed since training and working!”