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Getting To Know the Cancer Team: Q&A With Katelynn Thompson

August 22, 2022

Katelynn Thompson has worked in Radiation Oncology at GBMC for three years. She is part-time and spends the other part hanging out with her 4-year-old son and 1-year old daughter.

While studying at CCBC’s Radiation Therapy program, she was deciding between radiation oncology and nursing.

“I chose radiation oncology because I liked the growing field and all the technology. I felt like there were great opportunities for you to learn and grow,” she said.

She loves her patients, and the best part of her day is getting to know them, their story, and their journey.

Tell me about what you do with Radiation Oncology at GBMC?
A typical day starts with warming up the machines in the morning, making sure each machine passes daily quality assurance checks. There are two therapists assigned to each machine. We look over patient charts and check doses as well as new plans.

Before a patient is set to a specific machine for treatment, they come in for a planning day. Our team works closely with the Dosimetrists* who send us patient treatment plans. The patient can then come see the machine before being treated and ask us questions. Everything we do on the first day for simulation is very important, we have to recreate the same position and set up each day.

What do you want people to know about radiation therapists?
The therapists take good care of the patients and the doctors are fabulous. We are the last step in sometimes a long journey.

When you’re not working, what is your perfect day?
I have two days off a week, and I love hanging out with my kids. They love going to the zoo, the playground, and being outside. I also coach volleyball in my free time for a local high school team.

What do you want people to know about your team?
That we make people feel as comfortable as possible. People say they don’t feel like they are coming in for treatment; they are coming to hang out with their girlfriends.

Why did you choose GBMC for employment?
Before graduating, I did two rotations at GBMC. Then, I was part-time at St. Joe’s and GBMC and what I liked about GBMC was that it had a small, family feeling.

What do you love about GBMC?
That it is very patient-oriented. Patient care is a priority and it shows that people are taken care of.

*A medical dosimetrist is an analytical member of the radiation oncology team who works closely in collaboration with the radiation therapists, medical physicists, and radiation oncologists within the department.

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