UWE graduate named Radiotherapy student of the Year

Issue date: 15 October 2010

A graduate from the University of the West of England has won the Radiotherapy Student of the Year award. The award will be presented by the Society and College of Radiographers to Dawn Bowers at a special ceremony at the House of Commons on 11 November 2010. Dawn Bowers graduates this November with a first class honours degree and had a job lined up as early as last May. She is now working at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford.

Dawn is delighted to win, she said, “I'm thrilled to win this prize – it's been quite a challenge to combine training whilst caring for my three teenage children but the family have been great and absolutely backed my decision to retrain. The course has been fantastic. I can't praise the lecturers at UWE highly enough – support whilst on placement was superb.

“I trained late, I am now 44, as I decided to leave school before taking A levels but after attending a careers convention years ago the seed of an idea was sown. I'd always thought that working as a Therapeutic Radiographer would be rewarding but the opportunity to retrain didn't present itself until recently. The training at UWE is very thorough – I had the chance to go on three work placements. On the job training is very important in this line of work and feedback from my placements has helped me to develop practitioner skills enormously.”

Dawn was unanimously nominated by the Therapeutic Radiography teaching team at UWE who noted her willingness to go the extra mile even though she had a busy family life away from the University. As a student ambassador she helped to promote therapeutic radiography as a profession and was interviewed by local radio on one occasion.

Jan Chianese, Therapeutic Radiography lecturer, said, “Clinically Dawn has gained experience of working in three departments in the Southwest which has been no mean feat when trying to juggle family and other commitments.

This has been rewarded with excellent feedback from clinical educators and an exemplary portfolio of clinical evidence. One clinical practice educator described her thus -“Dawn was a fantastic student who engaged in all aspects of therapeutic radiography treatment. She was an excellent member of the team and was always willing to help out and stay late when required. She will be an excellent radiographer of the future”.

“As part of her final pre-qualifying placement she also imparted a huge amount of support and enthusiasm for the profession to the level one students undergoing their first clinical placement. These students went out of their way to make academic staff aware of their extremely positive experience which we believe reflects Dawns drive and enthusiasm throughout her training. Dawn has accepted a band 5 position in Oxford and she will truly be an asset not only to the department but to the profession as a whole.
“The radiography team at UWE wholeheartedly recommended Dawn for student radiographer of the year in recognition for her hard work, dedication and commitment to the profession and promotion of therapeutic radiography. She has been an inspiration to her peers, clinical colleagues and the academic team and we feel sure that she will make a big difference in the field of cancer care and radiotherapy. We are all delighted that she has gained this recognition - the award has gone to someone who really deserves it.”

Professor Steve West, UWE Vice Chancellor, said, “We are thrilled for Dawn – obviously this is a prize that is well deserved. I also feel that this reflects positively on the quality of teaching by staff in the Radiotherapy team. This is the second time that UWE has produced a Radiotherapist of the Year. Well done to everyone.”

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