It’s a lil over a month ago since the first RAD conference. And we just wanted to say thank you so much for all the support and our speakers. You guys were awesome.
We’re now planning the next conference, scheduled for 3rd March 2015. More information about this over the next incoming weeks.
But for now, for all those who missed the RAD conference, or for those of you who are interested, this introduction speech pretty much sums up why we set up RAD conference, and why Radiotherapy & Oncology is such an amazing specialism to get involved with, and why we all love it.
INTRODUCTION to RAD conference, October 2014.
Firstly, I would like to welcome you all and also to thank you so much for attending our first ever Sheffield Hallam student organized conference dedicated to all things Radiotherapy & Oncology.
Tonight, we are very lucky to have a very special line up of inspirational and amazing speakers who are, or have been, involved in radiotherapy & oncology in all sorts of forms and ways.
And this is what makes Radiotherapy so special as a healthcare specialism. Radiotherapy and Oncology is an extremely collaborative field that demands cross-disciplinary participation in every direction. It relies so much on constant research and technological innovations, and most importantly - those involved need to have the ability to care and to empathise.
A great quote that we find pertinent to radiotherapy, and healthcare as a whole, is by Maya Angelou who states that: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will NEVER forget how you made them feel.”
I think there’s a lot of things that drove us into a career in healthcare; the challenges, the academic rigor, the opportunities for technological innovation, the team work. But when you think about your day, and what made it special, and gives you the motivation everyday to return with your heart full; it is almost always the patient contact and care.
In a time in healthcare where budgets are tight, and getting constantly cut, where workloads are increasingly getting heavier - there is always one currency that is always greater; and that is kindness and time.
We are humbled as healthcare professionals because we constantly see life on the edges, vulnerabilities of all forms – both of our patients, and society, but also our colleagues too. When you’re on the edge, every experience is heightened. You truly feel the weight of time, trauma, loss, happiness, and kindness.
Our patients, and their family and friends, trust us. They share with us some of their most intimate stories, their struggles and their achievements. They get to brag about how proud they are of loved ones, or how crazy their dog is. We find out who they live with, and how they’re coping. And this is mostly done by the art of listening and allowing the patient to tell you their story. Day by day, a new chapter arises, and our relationship grows. And I often think how humbled we are, as HCP, that we get to share this, and what an empowered and empowering way of practicing.
Perhaps, the greatest art of all is the art of maintaining compassion in the face of pain and trauma in allocated blocks of time. I believe that Arthur Kleinman, a physician who now is professor at Harvard, said in his essay entitled, “How we endure” encapsulates on what working in radiotherapy & oncology is like: “ on occasion, we should step outside ourselves and look in as if an observer on our endeavours and our relationships—personal and professional—to acknowledge the strength, compassion, courage, and humanity with which we ourselves endure or help to make bearable the hard journeys of others. These are the qualities that make acceptance and striving, if not noble, then certainly deeply human—worthy of respect of ourselves and those whose journeys we share”.
Tonight, we have chosen speakers whose years in healthcare, and especially radiotherapy, have helped to shape the areas that we work in now. They bring intangibles of innovation and compassion in extraordinary and simple ways to the field of radiotherapy & oncology. We hope that they will inspire you, and give you food for thought.