Students often complain about the sacrifices they are making to go to school. They are taking out loans that must be repaid, and often are losing income while in school because of the demands of their program. They forgo time with family and time with friends, and they sacrifice vacations and free time in order to succeed. And when these students are studying radiation therapy they are making sacrifices in order to care for people who have cancer; who are very ill and sometimes who are dying. The more they view these as sacrifices, the harder they tend to be to manage.
This time of year I tend to think a lot about the sacrifices I have made for others, and the sacrifices that others have made for me. At Cambridge College, we are aware of the difficulties that surround students throughout their studies. Radiation Therapists study to treat patients who have cancer. We recognize that this can be a stressful time for students and so we work to teach students how to deal with both the stress and sacrifice. Part of this education is to learn to view things differently than you normally would. While you are giving up time to study, understand that your family and friends are forfeiting their time as well. That which you surrender to go to clinicals are accompanied with sacrifices from our therapists at our clinic sites who take on the challenge of teaching students to be the best possible clinicians.
Perhaps the greatest sacrifice is one we overlook. While it may seem that radiation therapists give of themselves to their patients, at Cambridge College of Healthcare &Technology instructors and clinicians teach students where the real sacrifices lie. The true sacrifice is from the patient. Often a patient trusts their caregiver at a time when they are the most vulnerable. A patient will forfeit their self-sufficiency in order to accept the care of others. They allow therapists (and students) to see the raw and vulnerable and allow themselves to accept the help of others in order to improve the quality of their life.
At Cambridge College we teach students to recognize the sacrifice of others they come in contact with; be it family, friends, clinicians, or patients, it is the sacrifice of others that allow students to thrive and become the best possible radiation therapists they can.
J. Kim Mylan, MBA, RT(T)
Program Director, Radiation Therapy
Cambridge College of Healthcare & Technology, Delray Beach, Florida Campus