Community Diagnostics
Community Diagnostics

Celebrating World Radiography Day

November 6 2015

Across Care UK’s treatment centres and diagnostic services, radiographers will be raising a cupcake to celebrate World Radiography Day (8 November).

In the north-west one radiographer will be celebrating being back in the profession she loves.

In 1999 Helen Cleary gave up the profession that she loved as she started her family. She said: “I loved my work but I wanted to be a full-time mum. The problem was that mandatory Continuing Professional Development (CPD) was introduced whilst my children were very young. I was unable to keep up my professional development at home and so I had no choice but to leave the profession I loved.”

Helen spent 12 happy years at home raising her children, but she never lost her love of healthcare and she decided to return to radiography. Sadly, the path didn’t prove as smooth as she had anticipated. “It was very difficult. Regaining my registration would take a minimum of 60 days updating my skills and knowledge, including at least 30 days of supervised clinical practice. I approached a number of hospitals but none were able to help me because of the commitment needed to support my return.”

Helen took on a job working for a group delivering ultrasound imaging in the community. Rather than travelling to hospital, patients could visit the service during one of its visits to local GP surgeries. Helen worked as a healthcare assistant, helping to set up the equipment and putting the patients at their ease.

Helen added: “It was good to be back at work but it was also frustrating because I knew I could do more. My colleagues were really great and they encouraged me to try again, they introduced me to Janet Ritchie, the national clinical lead for Care UK’s mobile DXA service. Janet was very positive. She heard my story, saw how committed I was and took me on, supervising my training and being very supportive. She really is wonderful and I'm incredibly grateful.”

The community diagnostic team serves communities across the county using leading edge mobile technology to scan patients for osteoporosis – the bone-weakening disease which affects one in three women and one in five men. The team carry out low radiation DXA scans that measure bone density in women and men over 20. Unlike most comparable NHS services, there are no upper age limits.

Janet said: “I was delighted to be able to offer a dedicated healthcare professional a way back into radiography. She has been with us two years now and she is an asset to the team.

“Care UK is dedicated to providing the very best healthcare to patients and so we are always willing to offer the opportunity and training to people who are as committed as ourselves. Those returning to work after caring for relatives – young and old – have invaluable skills as well as a caring nature and so we’re delighted to be able to help them return to the profession they love.”

For more information about World Radiography Day, visit the Society of Radiographers website.