Superintendant Radiographer
Addenbrookes Hospital

Superintendant Radiographer
Addenbrookes Hospital

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Halina S

00:00:01 My name’s Halina S and I’m a Superintendent Radiographer at Addenbrookes Hospital. And I actually run a specialist section of the department, which concentrates specifically on examinations of the brain and the spine. So it’s neuro radiology. I’m very people-orientated, I’m very practical, I have a very visual brain and that’s what radiography’s about, it’s about picturing people’s anatomy. You see, you know, a body and you can’t see what’s going on inside. All the X-Ray procedures and scans demonstrate anatomy. You never know what the day has in store for you. Whether it’s a day of doing CT scans of the brain and the spine, or maybe working doing very specific imaging of the blood vessels to the brain. We can treat things like cerebral aneurisms, little balloons on the blood vessels of the brain that have burst. Life and times in radiography are quite exciting these days, its not just about taking pictures of people’s anatomy.

00:02:30 I mean I was quite bright, I was one of those early developers, I went to Grammar School very early. I was lucky enough to do Biology and Physics and Chemistry as separate subjects. And I just loved them and I loved the anatomy, I liked to know what things looked like inside. I loved putting things under microscopes. I come from a medical family, my father was a doctor, and when I was about thirteen or fourteen one of his friends took me into the X-Ray Department where he worked. But it – the careers advice at my grammar school was that you don’t – you’ve got better qualifications than that, you’ve got A-Levels, or you’re doing A-Levels, you’re going to University or Teachers’ Training College. In fact I was told when I mentioned Radiography – don’t be silly, with your qualifications you can do something “better”. So I went to Teachers’ Training College, and after about a term I knew that I’d done the wrong thing and I wanted to do Radiography. I knew I had a huge advantage ‘cause I had A-Levels, and they just said – Ooh Science A-Levels, we’ll take you. So I got in to do my diploma training. And I have never ever regretted it. Only it wasn’t an easy decision, because I went against a lot of family pressure. My older sister didn’t speak to me for six months, because she was a teacher, and I was supposed to do what she did. Maybe because there were all sorts of family things going on, and such a lot of changes, it seemed like the right thing to do. And as I say I never regretted it. I knew from the moment I started my Radiography training that I’d done the right thing. I started in radiography before there was any sort of scanning of any type, so I’ve seen ultrasound scanning come into its own from something where you could measure the diameter of a baby’s head, to where you now have 3D Imaging, and I think that will still continue to go on. I think one of the things that’s really key in Radiography now is actually functional imaging, watching the brain working, for instance. Seeing which pathways are activated by certain functions, so you can do functional MRI scanning, for instance, and give someone mathematical problems to do, and you find out which bit of the brain does that for you.

00:03:09 Has anything influenced the way I do my career? I think what has influenced me very seriously over the last two years, is the fact that a member of my immediate family suffered a severe head injury two years ago. And I think to have suddenly seen that – the patient’s side – the relatives’ side of a situation like that was – it was a very valuable lesson. And that has actually, I’ve found my professional coping mechanisms haven’t been as tough because I now have – I now really know what it means to be a member of a family to whom this has happened. And so I think that in some ways has made me even more empathic to my patients and their relatives.

00:03:57 It’s not like nursing where you’re seeing the same patients day after day after day, it’s somewhere where – in a scanning department you maybe see thirty, forty people in a day, but making each one of those people feel that they’re the only person that matters for that particular duration of their examination. Setting their minds at rest, putting them at ease to have a procedure done. So I mean I love it, I have never ever regretted the change I made in the many years I’ve been practising since.

00:04:26 ENDS


Halina S has a passion for anatomy and pursuing radiography seemed an obvious route. University and family were less keen and because of this she enrolled on a teaching training course, which she soon regretted. On radiography she says, "I knew from the moment I started my radiography training that I'd done the right thing."

More information about Medical radiographers

average salary

The UK average salary is £28,758

average weekly hours

There are 37.5 hours in the average working week

25%  male 
75%  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.
Employment by region
Top 10 industries for this job
Health 19194
Public admin. & defence 4184
Residential care 1343
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