Health Science student secures week’s work experience following radiography talk

Year 12 Health Science student, Holly Akers, has secured a week’s work experience at Weston Park Hospital following visit from Radiographer, Joanna McNamara.

On Thursday 7th February Joanna McNamara visited UTC Olympic Legacy Park to talk to Year 11 and Sixth Form students about Radiography and Oncology. Joanna is a Radiographer and a lead admissions tutor for Sheffield Hallam University, she also works with Sheffield Teaching Hospitals to recruit future radiographers and mentor those currently in training.

Joanna’s presentation and talk aimed to raise the student’s awareness about the roles of Allied Health Professionals. Allied Health Professionals differ from nurses and doctors, which are the roles people first think of when considering occupations in healthcare. Instead, Allied Health Professionals cover a vast amount of healthcare professions including radiography, physiotherapy, speech therapy and orthoptist. Joanna also hoped to break down any pre-conceived ideas about radiography and oncology which the students may have.

Students were encouraged to get involved during the presentation and were given radiography masks to examine, as well as x-rays of tumors to decipher. Joanna also showed a video of a patients experience inside a linear accelerator (this customises high energy x-rays or electrons to conform to a tumor’s shape and destroy cancer cells) and continued to discuss case studies of real patients – emphasising how rewarding the job can be!

During the talk, Joanna spoke to the students about possible work experience opportunities, where they would be able to shadow a professional for half a day. Passionate about radiography, Sixth Form student Holly Akers decided to contact Joanna straight away, enquiring into whether or not it would be possible to extend the half a day of shadowing into a whole week of work experience instead. Joanna put Holly in contact with a therapeutic radiographer, Jessica, who is now organising a full week of shadowing and work experience for Holly at Weston Park Hospital.

Holly’s passion for radiotherapy first began at an open evening here at UTC Olympic Legacy Park where there was a stall advertising the opportunities within the profession. She said: “Ever since then, I have been driven towards excelling in all my subjects so I can achieve my goal of one day becoming a therapeutic radiographer… When we had the talk with Joanna, and she mentioned work experience, I knew instantly that I was interested!”.

Sarah Clark, Principal at UTC said: “We’re thrilled that Holly has secured this work experience opportunity and we look forward to hearing all about it.”

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