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.