Studying at City, University of London has helped increase my confidence and clinical skills at work.
Please tell us about your background prior to starting the course?
Prior to undertaking post graduate study at City, University of London my background was in Diagnostic Radiography. I was working as a Senior Radiographer at King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust which is an incredibly rewarding career. As a radiographer you work closely with a wide range of allied health professionals and doctors in high intensity trauma settings as well as routine out patients. I was rotating through a wide variety of imaging modalities such as plain film x-ray, interventional and cardiac imaging and computed tomography. I had the opportunity to be trained by some world-class radiographers treating and caring for a range of patients from A&E to intensive care units. This led me to be an active educator and supportive member of staff to new professionals and students alike.
What were your main motivations to apply for this course?
My motivations for undertaking the Postgraduate Ultrasound course at City, University of London was to help me expand my career further and to become proficient in an advanced and dynamic imaging modality.
The world of Diagnostic Ultrasound is rapidly changing with advances in technology leading to increased utility, safety and most importantly increased levels of patient care.
The horizons of the Medical Ultrasound world are expanding fast and this is rearranging the traditional barriers between health professionals; allowing sonographers to work with leading researchers, professors and consultants alike. The combined efforts of this multidisciplinary team are helping bring the field of ultrasound to the foreground of modern medicine. As an individual this is an exciting place and time to be involved in the world of ultrasound.
What were, if any, the main challenges that affected your decision about postgraduate study? How did you overcome them?
The main challenge affecting the decision to undertake postgraduate study was the workload and time management which comes with undertaking a postgraduate program whilst working full-time in a clinical environment. These were overcome by the immense support of my course director and tutors from City, University of London who were always more than timely in their responses and always went above and beyond in their support.
The use of contemporary IT solutions was incredibly well utilised by City. Their IT programs such as Moodle allowed easy and seamless access to the advanced learning resources and a fully stocked library with all the relevant journals. This meant that students could access fully recorded lectures and learning resources at any time of day or night from mobile devices, laptops and desktops. All these factors reduced the stresses of managing both time and learning in what otherwise would have been a much more stressful learning experience.
Why did you choose to study at City, University of London?
City, University of London has an internationally renowned reputation for health sciences with 82% of research activity being rated world leading or internationally excellent, as well as being rated 1st in London for Medical Technology and 2nd in London for subjects allied to medicine in league tables.
While black and white statistics make for easy reading, you need to be sure that your personality will fit in with such an academic institution. Being profoundly dyslexic I’ve always approached such institutions with an air of caution, however – through word of mouth City sounded a fantastic place with tutors who tailored teaching to individual students, supporting them in a way that ensures that every individual has the ability to reach their full potential. Furthermore, having visited the university and met with the tutors I was instantly put at ease. The students were all happy, and while producing amazing academic statistics, they were all relaxed and at ease.
The student support department were invaluable. Upon arrival they reviewed my report and had all of the necessary support structures for the next few years in place within a single short visit to their offices. All in all the decision to undertake post graduate education at City was one of the easiest decisions I’ve ever had to make.
How has studying this course helped you to develop personally and professionally?
Studying at City, University of London has helped increase my confidence and clinical skills at work. I’m driven to undertake work which previously might have intimidated me. Following the completion of my course, I was motivated to undertake the writing of papers for publications within the world of ultrasound; something which I previously would have not attempted. Some of these papers and case studies have been published and this has inspired me to keep writing – hoping to help highlight new advances in ultrasound. Some of the other papers haven’t made it to publication, however I’m still working on more with the hope that they might soon be in print. Personally I’ve felt more comfortable in my career and even attended a five day international conference in Poland on my own which again is something that previously I’d not felt comfortable undertaking.
What additional opportunities and experiences did City offer you during your course?
There were a wide range of opportunities available to us as students through City, University of London such as CPD talks in the evenings hosted by accomplished professionals as well as the option to attend CPD courses. Being on the ultrasound course we were encouraged to join the British Medical Ultrasound Society as student members, at a reduced rate. This opened up opportunities to engage with the wider ultrasound community.
City also allowed the students on this course to select their modules to build up the skills that they or their respective hospital required. City demonstrated immense flexibility when a module that a student was keen to undertake was not available to them, the students could hereby undertake a ‘student negotiated module’ whereby the student and the tutors worked out how best to achieve the goal and how to ensure that the module was appropriate for the course learning outcomes. This created a bespoke module for that student allowing them to realise their potential in a module that was previously unavailable. This is a rare and greatly appreciated demonstration of willingness to support the individual students in every way the university can.
What are your career plans, and how has City helped you prepare for the next stage in your career journey?
Currently I’m looking to expand my training further into other fields of ultrasound and aiming to keep publications going where possible. I believe it is really important that as a profession we keep looking into evidence based practice to help ensure that the world of ultrasound keeps up with the paradigm shifts of modern medicine. This is essential to keep best practice and ensure high quality patient care.
City helped teach me that we should always ask ‘why?’ and keep looking for new and inventive ways to uphold high quality care.
What advice would you give to people thinking about studying this course at City?
City is a world renowned university which provides a uniquely supportive and innovative way of teaching. This helps all students from all backgrounds ensure that they can achieve their full potential. The tutors and staff go above and beyond to help individuals realise their goals while simultaneously reducing stress and pressure wherever possible.
The Postgraduate Ultrasound course is run by some of the most supportive and caring staff. It’s a thoroughly enjoyable course and if you’re considering undertaking this area of study I couldn’t recommend City enough.
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