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Nik Shah

Radiography - Diagnostic Imaging BSc (Hons)

Nik studies BSc Radiography (Diagnostic Imaging), he chose to study at City because of our links with hospitals and our supportive environment.

Before City

How did you develop an interest in Radiography and why did you choose to study Radiography?

I have always been interested in working in healthcare and was looking for a career that would be technical and people-focused. I spent time researching different healthcare professions and diagnostic radiography caught my eye.

I gained work experience at several hospitals, learning more about diagnostic radiography and how radiographers play a key role to improve public health by producing high quality images that help diagnose medical conditions, disease and injuries, with minimal invasion. I found that working in the hospital setting is highly rewarding and this confirmed my interest in pursuing a radiography career - I am passionate about helping people, and find it exciting how science and technology can be combined to do so.

Why did you choose to study at City?

City’s School of Health Sciences has an excellent reputation and has links with a variety of hospitals in and around London. City offers a supportive environment that fosters learning, and during the hospital placement period, personal tutors will visit students every week at their hospital site for tutorial sessions. Furthermore, City provides opportunities for students to undertake hospital placements abroad.

What has been your favourite thing about studying at City, and about the course itself?

Some of my highlights include making friends within and outside of my course - hanging out with them at the City Bar and playing life-size chess at the Tait building! I have also had a chance to network with visiting radiography students from Indiana University, involving a visit to the Barts Pathology Museum, followed by drinks after.

I really appreciate the opportunities we have been given to undertake elective placements at NHS, private and specialist hospitals, as well as the ongoing support given to us by lecturers.

How have you found the teaching and facilities on your course?

The lecturers are supportive and always willing to answer any of our queries. I have found the lectures very interesting, especially the ones on interpreting x-rays to identify broken bones, abnormalities and pathology. This is particularly useful for us whilst we are on clinical placement, as it helps us to interpret patients’ x-rays accurately, so that we can quickly identify the patients’ next steps.

The clinical suite at City has been a useful space for us to practice how to position patients for x-ray examinations, and learn how to carry out manual handling in a safe manner, to help prepare us for clinical placement.

What kind of things are you involved in outside of your course?

Outside of my course, I was appointed the finance officer of the radiography society, where I looked after the society’s budget and helped to organise several events for students across the years. These included trips to Body Worlds, a museum of the human body, and socials at Bounce for table tennis, as well as music nights.

What are you most looking forward to during the rest of your time at City?

I am excited to return to clinical placement to undertake an eight-week in-depth nuclear medicine and PET/CT elective programme at University College London Hospital, where I will be learning how to perform various scans and cannulate patients!

Placements

Where have you been on your clinical placements, and what have you enjoyed most about these experiences?

I have been working at Whittington Hospital during the clinical period of my course. I have really enjoyed my time there; gaining experience in different areas such as theatres, A&E and the specialist modalities, including CT and MRI, whilst using modern equipment throughout.

I have built good working relationships with the team, and had the opportunity to work closely with surgeons, radiologists and reporting radiographers. Working with my fellow students has been a pleasure, especially as we have supported and encouraged each other throughout our clinical placement.

How will these experiences help you with your future career?

City’s international outlook took me to Mater Dei Hospital in Malta, where I undertook a two-week elective. As the hospital is visited by patients from across the island, I was exposed to a wide range of patient’s conditions and their treatments. This has helped shape my perspective on healthcare and its role in different cultures.

What would be your advice to students about to start their first placement experience?

Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, get stuck in and always ask for help when you are unsure!

Future

What do you plan to do after you graduate?

I have been offered a job as a band 5 diagnostic radiographer with an NHS hospital trust. I am looking forward to starting my career with the trust and gaining as much experience as I can in different specialisms.

What would be your advice to anyone considering studying this course?

Attend open days – speak with the lecturers and current students to find out as much about the course beforehand. Contact different hospitals to gain some experience prior to applying to university. This will help give you an overall idea of what radiography is about and help you decide if you would like to pursue a career in therapeutic or diagnostic radiography.