Leeds Teaching Hospitals People

Back to profiles

Chris Lee

Reservist - radiotherapy

Chris is a Radiotherapy Specialist Practitioner and he has worked at the Trust for 1 ½ years.

Chris's day-to-day role at LTHT involves using linear accelerator machines to deliver highly accurate Radiotherapy treatment to patients who predominantly have cancer.

Chris said: “Before treatment begins we have to perform CT scans to ensure we hit the tumour whilst avoiding surrounding sensitive organs, this is in order to minimise any side effects of treatment for the patients. Precision is critical to the job and so we use various immobilisation equipment such as masks to make sure our patients are stable. We also use imaging during a patients treatment to make sure that we are giving the best possible treatment, it is our job to assess and analyse these scans.”

“Our role involves a lot of communication with patients, providing advice and care for side effects. We also work alongside our physics and medical colleagues to provide support to treatment. There is a significant technical side to the job including preparing plans for treatment, looking at images and, additionally as a Radiotherapy Specialist Practitioner, I am involved in projects to improve the service we provide.”

“The job is continuously evolving with new advances and techniques and we have to keep on top of these through continuous training. As a specialist practitioner I am a part of the imaging team and I have recently helped to upgrade and evaluate one of the pieces of software used during the planning process.”

“My favourite thing about working for LTHT is the people. Everyone I work with is passionate about the job and the care they provide. We often see patients every day for several weeks which allows us to build a rapport with them, it is great to hear their stories and to know that I'm making a difference. The department is undergoing a major rolling update of all our machines which will allow us to stay at the forefront of radiotherapy advancements as well as quicker treatment time and a more pleasant environment to our patients.”

Outside of work Chris a reservist in the RAF.

He explains: “I'm a fairly new member of the RAF Reserves having finished my first stage of training late last year. I am based at 607 Squadron at RAF Leeming but the training takes place around the UK. I am in the process of going through trade training as an intelligence analyst. This covers a wide range of topics from imagery to human intelligence. For me I started looking at the medical side of things but after speaking to current reservists it was a perfect opportunity to do something that is a far cry to what I do in my day-to-day life.”

“I decided to do the reserves as I way to broaden my skills and just to do something completely different than what I do in my civilian job. I can't pretend that the prospect of travelling to foreign countries didn't appeal. It's been interesting to meet people from all different walks of life such as police inspectors, executives and weather forecasters through my training.”

“Being part of the RAF Reserves has been a great experience so far. The Reserves cover a wide range of different trades such as medical, logistics and intelligence. The training they provide prepares you fully for the role and the skills have undoubtedly helped with my civilian job as well. They also give opportunities for extra activities which are provided through the RAF (rowing, sailing, skiing etc).”

Chris's advice for anyone thinking about joining the reserves is: “Make sure you know what you're committing to, speak to your family, your managers and to personnel in the reserves. It's hugely rewarding but also demanding; make sure you know what you're getting yourself into first. The first part of training is tough with early starts and long days but just go in with the right attitude and it doesn't take long before you get settled and you start really enjoying it. LTHT have been great with me and provide time off as special leave for training weeks. Having recently signed the armed forces covenant which pledges to support reservists along with the armed forces in general shows that you will be supported in your decision as I've seen from my experience.”