Kelly Elsner

Profession: Radiation Therapist

Current position: Senior Radiation Therapist

Years qualified as an RT: Since 2000

What are your areas of interest in research?

Patient Experiences in RT and RT professional skills and development

Would you describe yourself as a ‘novice’ or ‘experienced’ researcher? Experienced

Research qualifications: Currently doing a Masters by research

What is your greatest research achievement?

Harold Silvermann award for best peer reviewed paper in The Radiation Therapist 2010 awarded to Craig Opie and myself

Why and how did you get involved in research?

I enjoy learning and testing our professional assumptions. Multiple conversations with Jenny Cox and the AIR Research symposium SA gave me the final push/inspiration to starting my masters.

How do you balance research/work/family life?

When I am happy, I have the balance right. When I am stressed, I need to tweak it! And soccer, its a commitment and a great stress release!

How did you find a mentor/supervisor?

I started by talking to everyone I knew in RT and that led me on a search, meeting with multiple people to find someone with the interest and experience to guide me.

What was your supervisor’s best advice?

Know what you can achieve in 10 minutes, 30 minutes, 1 hour or more. Maximise your time.

What do you enjoy most about being involved in research?

Learning. Being self directed. Improving my daily practice as an RT.

What has been your biggest challenge or barrier to being involved in research?

Having the guts to get started! Finding a topic I could be interested in for years.

What one piece of advice would you give other researchers?

Jot down all your thoughts/interests/questions in a note book so you can reflect on them over time. Use it for direction, motivation, clarification of your interests.

Is there any other information you wish to share with the network?

Seek continual feedback and don’t take anything personally. The aim is to produce the best research and the best outcomes possible. Not to waste time doing it the way you thought it was best, only to find you have not accomplished much or best served the community you were targeting.