Nik- Assistant Practitioner

Meet Nik, a long-serving Assistant Practitioner here with the UHS Radiotherapy team.

What is your job role and what does your job role entail?

My job role is as an Assistant Practitioner in Radiotherapy at Southampton General Hospital. I perform many tasks, but my main role is to explain the treatment process to patients on their first day. To welcome and reassure them, tell them how we are going to use CT to tailor the treatment to their unique problem. As well as informing them about possible side effects and how to avoid or reduce their impact.

My role also involves adjusting appointments to suit the patients, when possible and I introduce them to our environment, and staff and give them printed information to take away. Then describe the actual treatment technique and how it all works.

Overall, my role is to make sure the patient is informed and comfortable.

What was your career journey to date and how long have you been with UHS? 

I have been with University Hospital Southampton, 20 happy years!

Before UHS, I trained as a Cartographer at Ordnance Survey, then became a cocktail bartender at TGI Fridays in Covent Garden, and later managed restaurants in Southampton. I became redundant in the recession and changed direction again by joining the team at the RSH Radiotherapy department.

What personal qualities do you need to be a member of Radiotherapy?

The qualities you need to have to be a member of Radiotherapy, you need to have good communication skills, be a team player, be flexible and enthusiastic, a good listener, and having a good sense of humour helps too!

What is the best thing about working at UHS?

The best thing about working at UHS is being useful, learning and developing skills, and being appreciated by patients and colleagues.

As well, Teamwork, making a difference, feeling valued, and enthusing/supporting each other. For me, in my team, we all get on so well! Like a big family.

What made you want to work at UHS?

What made me want to work at UHS was the ability to use existing skills; accuracy and focus from map-making, teamwork, anticipating needs, and people skills from catering.

What sets UHS apart from other Trusts and would you recommend working at UHS?

What I find sets UHS apart from other Trusts is the fact it’s a training hospital, so there is opportunity, encouragement and access to development and training. However, I enjoy helping new staff and It’s closer to where I live!

Yes, I would recommend working at UHS and have recommended it to my son, who has since become a GP!

What training and development opportunities have you had during your time at UHS?

There have been many opportunities for training and development. During my time at UHS, I’ve been a Moving and Handling trainer for years, I am a Dementia Champion, have been taught to take blood, and can canulate for IV contrast in CT. I’ve completed Band 5 CT competencies, despite my being a Band 4.

Is there any piece of equipment in particular that you find interesting or useful to your job role?

The piece of equipment I find useful to my job is my computer in the Patient Info Clinic, which enables me to show patients pictures of the equipment we use, and the machines we treat and scan with.

Are there any developments within your department you are looking forward to?

The development of treatments is evolving constantly. With fewer side effects and are more focused, and therefore more efficient. I am learning and developing daily, which keeps me stimulated.

 To find out about how you can join the team, click here to find out about our open opportunities.