Explore: Healthcare

Trainee Assistant Practitioner
Addenbrookes Hospital

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Gillian D

00:00:01 My name’s Gill and I work as an Assistant Practitioner in the X-Ray department of a large Hospital. It’s exciting, challenging at times, and the job satisfaction – you’re learning daily, you learn every day.

00:00:17 I think I worked quite hard at school but I did leave, I didn’t go on to do A-Levels. I left school and went to college to do Business Studies, and completed that and then worked. And then I was lucky to – enough to get some work on cruise ships so I did that for a while and travelled round. Although I enjoyed it at the time, soon realised that long term it’s not what I wanted – it wasn’t what I wanted to do. I think it’s healthy for people to have ideas and aspirations of what they want to do and then change their mind, and to know that you can change. I was working in the Hospital previously, that was in an admin role, and reception role. I think I was influenced a lot by my sister who is a nurse, and my sister-in-law who’s also a nurse. And listening to how much enjoyment they got from their jobs.

00:01:15 I always had intentions of changing my career to involve working closer with patients, having more patient contact. I was always looking to see what would interest me, and which area I’d like to go into. Radiography was one of the departments that I did first of all look into. I came along and spoke to the Head of Department, discovered there was Assistant Practitioners within Radiography. I applied for it and was successful in interview, and also successful enough to get onto the course and do the training. I like coming into work and not knowing how the day is going to go. Whether it’s going to be busy or quiet, or what you’re going to be faced with. There’s no comparison at all in – I mean a lot of jobs I’ve had from when I was younger were jobs in the short term, they were fun and I enjoyed them. But I don’t feel now that I want to look for anything else I’m very satisfied in my job now

00:02:10 I have faced difficulties being a working mother, and juggling everything at times was hard. Some of the times – well the end was sometimes I felt like I couldn’t get there, because at times it was quite difficult. But with determination, you can get there. Getting the balance right is the important thing. If you can balance home life and work, that’s the key.

00:02:36 You can always develop and continue to learn new skills. I wouldn’t want to be working in a job where I couldn’t go any further and I’d learnt all there was to do. I’ve just been accepted onto a course to continue my studying and become a qualified Radiographer. So that’s my goal in the future, that’s going to take me two years to achieve. It’s enough for me to think about for now.

00:03:00 ENDS


Gillian says of her job, “it’s exciting, it’s challenging at times.” On her influences she says, “I think I was influenced a lot by my sister who was a nurse and my sister in law, who’s a nurse and listening to how much enjoyment they got from their job.” As for the future, “I have just been accepted on a course to continue my studying and become a qualified radiographer.”

More information about Medical radiographers

average salary

The UK average salary is £29,813

average weekly hours

There are 37.5 hours in the average working week

24%  male 
76%  female 

The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male

Future employment

Future employment?

? Medical (diagnostic) radiographers operate x-ray machines, ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging and other imaging devices for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes, assist in the diagnosis of injuries and diseases and are involved in intervention procedures such as the removal of kidney stones. They operate under the supervision of senior staff. Therapeutic radiographers specialise in the planning and administration of radiotherapy treatment for patients with cancer.
Entrants for medical radiography possess a degree in radiography recognised by the Health Professions Council (HPC). Those with a relevant first degree may qualify by completing a pre-registration postgraduate diploma or a Masters qualification. Post-qualifying courses are available for specialist areas.
  • Uses a range of imaging devices for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes;
  • Assesses patients and interprets clinical requirements to determine appropriate radiographic treatments;
  • Verifies identity of patient and ensures that necessary preparations have been made for the examination/treatment;
  • Decides length and intensity of exposure or strength of dosage of isotope;
  • Positions patient and operates x-ray, scanning or fluoroscopic equipment;
  • Maintains records of all radiographic/therapeutic work undertaken;
  • Plans course of treatment with clinical oncologists and physicists;
  • Calculates radiation dosage and maps volume to be treated;
  • Explains treatment to patient and management of any side effects;
  • Carries out post-treatment reviews and follow-ups.
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Top 10 industries for this job
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