Issue date: 16 October 2012
David Evans has won the Therapeutic Radiographer of the year award – the third year running that a student from UWE Bristol has received this national accolade from the Society of Radiographers.
David, who has just graduated with a first-class honours degree in Radiotherapy, was nominated for the award by staff in the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences for his outstanding achievements as an undergraduate. These include excellent clinical practice, his research into psychosocial aspects of uptake of the NHS bowel cancer screening programme, and helping classmates as a peer-assisted learning (PAL) facilitator.
David is a mature student who had previously worked as an operations manager within the printing and graphic design industry and was looking for a new and exciting career change. He said, “I always wanted to make a difference to the world of radiotherapy. In 2011 I had an opportunity through the Society of Radiographers 'Work the World' competition to visit Dar es Salaam in Tanzania. I was humbled by what I saw and was able to work with staff to make some small but significant improvements.
“I have just started a PhD at Cardiff University focusing on the long-term psychosocial support needs of head and neck cancer patients and their relatives. In order to maintain and develop my clinical skills I am also working part-time at the Cheltenham Oncology Centre, where I did my third year placement.
“I also want to continue my links with Tanzania and highlight the challenges faced by developing countries in terms of providing quality cancer care and treatment.”
Mandy Tuckey, programme manager for Radiotherapy and Oncology said, “This is a very well-deserved award. Throughout his time at UWE David was enthusiastic and willing to learn. He would always go that extra mile in helping others, for example by facilitating practical sessions with students in other years using UWE's state-of-the-art virtual radiotherapy training equipment.
“He previously received UWE's Faculty programme prize for demonstrating outstanding academic achievements and his contributions to University life. We are sure that David has the determination and commitment to succeed and will make a huge difference to the Radiotherapy profession both now and in the future.”
Among David's findings from his undergraduate research project into bowel cancer screening were that the primary factor affecting uptake is knowledge - of the disease, the purpose and benefits of screening, and how disparities in educational attainment alter access to health literature. He recommended that further research needs to be carried out into the health education needs of those populations who traditionally face barriers when engaging in health promotion activities if the NHS bowel cancer screening targets are to be met.
Emma Charman, lead clinical educator at Cheltenham said, “Dave was a very capable and enthusiastic student who learnt quickly and managed to apply theory to practice well in the clinical setting. He built up a good rapport with patients using a warm and friendly approach to put them at ease. Dave always worked hard, putting the patient's needs first, and I feel this award is appropriate and well-deserved.”
For more information on studying to be a Therapeutic Radiographer at UWE Bristol see http://courses.uwe.ac.uk/B822/2013