Sunday, 24 May 2015

Wow What A Week!

Well it has been a very busy couple of weeks and really quite stressful too, but all worth it.  Last week I visited another hospital to see some treatments that we don't do at my clinical placement site.  Heading to London on the train was a welcome break from my normal commute and I actually caught up on reading my favourite magazines.  A warm welcome greeted me when I arrived and it was really informative seeing how a different radiotherapy worked.  Taking time to organise elective placements was important to me and I still have a couple more in the next few weeks.  So if you are offered the chance for electives, take it, go somewhere that does something that you haven't seen, ask questions, be interested in other staffs and departments approaches to treatment.

This week has been even busier and really quite stressful.  My final assignment was due in on Friday and I had my first interview for a newly qualified radiographer job.  No pressure then! Also just to add to the mix, dissertation results were released on Thursday, just hours before my interview.  I managed to get the assignment done and dusted by Wednesday and finished off revising for my interview on my study day.  With shaking hands I nervously logged on to the uni website at 6am on Thursday to get my dissertation results......a 1+.....I had to look three times to be certain.  To be honest it still hasn't quite sunk in but I am absolutely thrilled, all the hard work paid off.  For months I had given up my weekends, reading journal articles, getting to grips with research methodologies, writing my dissertation.

Off I headed for interview, nervously entering my placement hospital, hoping that I could perform well enough to be offered a job.  I came away feeling it had gone well but not convinced I would get the job, having got in muddle about a planning technique!  Also having prepared for all sorts of scenario questions I was disappointed that the interview questions hadn't really covered these.  But there was no need to panic, I got the job.  I am so pleased to be joining the team at my placement hospital as a Band 5 radiographer, I am sure knowing the staff and how things are done within the department will be very beneficial as I start my new career.

So a busy week indeed! Whilst I can't guess my final degree classification I am closer to being awarded a first.  I never dreamed of that when I began this journey nearly three years ago.  Just five more weeks and I will know the outcome.

Good luck to all student radiographers heading off to interviews in the coming weeks and for results day.

Until next time, take care.
Zoe
xo

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Camp Bestival - Official Blogger


Yes it's true I will be joining the fantabulous Camp Bestival team again as an official blogger.  I am thrilled to be working with the team again and we are all very excited already.  Nevermind how amazing the line up is, Kaiser Chiefs, The Shires, Soul II Soul (need I say more?!), Camp Bestival is our favourite festival and truly is the place where memories are made that will be cherished forever.  

Over the coming weeks I will be bringing you the latest news and any additions to the line up as well as my top tips and the things we are planning to do.  In the meantime you can read about our adventures at Camp Bestival last summer before booking your tickets at www.campbestival.net!

Have a fabulous weekend and until next time take care.
Zoe
xo

Friday, 8 May 2015

Inspiring A Future Generation of Radiographers

Last term Kitty was learning about the human body as part of her Year 3 science topic and was very interested in naming bones and discovering how different things inside her worked.  Obviously I was thrilled to see such enthusiasm and answered her many questions each evening.  Towards the end of term she asked if I could come in and talk about seeing inside our bodies as her interest in my new career has continued.  Of course I jumped at the chance, I have always loved spending time in the classroom and relished the opportunity to talk about x-rays to 7 and 8 year olds.  Thankfully Kitty's teacher was as keen for me to visit, so soon after handing in my dissertation I planned my talk. Getting Kitty involved in preparing a short powerpoint presentation helped me gauge what her friends would be interested in.  Soon we were searching for x-rays of animals, child friendly x-ray machines and CT scanners, as well as some interesting fracture images.
  
By keeping it simple, asking about the childrens own experience of x-rays and giving them an insight into how we can see inside our bodies, kept their interest.  Hands were raised with numerous questions waiting to be asked.  For me this was exciting to see such enthusiasm about radiography at a young age.  Whilst universities regularly visit careers events for GCSE and A level students to promote courses in both diagnostic and therapeutic radiography I believe we are missing more exposure for our profession. The national curriculum and the exam syllabuses offer us ample opportunities to share our knowledge and grab the attention of the future radiography workforce. Quick, simple talks in primary schools for Kitty's age group when they are learning about the human body, radiation is part of the GCSE Physics syllabus, Lucy learnt all about cancer and radiotherapy in her Year 9 biology lessons.  I truly believe with some planning there is great opportunity for radiographers to be involved with schools when discussing these more specialist areas of the curriculum, 

Perhaps this is what the national curriculum lacks, the collaborations with various professionals. But that's a another post entirely!

Until next time, take care.
Zoe
xo

Monday, 27 April 2015

Dementia Friends

Last week I attended a lecture, as part of interprofessional learning, about communication and distressed behaviours in dementia.  To be honest I have not had first hand experience of caring for somebody with dementia, but I wanted to be prepared for helping patients I am treating.  Obviously from the perspective of a radiographer there are issues of consent with a patient who has dementia and also getting them to stay still for the procedure or treatment.  Thankfully this lecture was very informative and I now feel more able to help a patient with dementia.  Taking time to understand this illness has helped me enormously and I really hope that a similar lecture is available for health students nationwide.  As the future NHS workforce we should be better informed, even if we are not directly involved in the day to day care of a patient with dementia.  Also in the future I will be checking if patients with dementia have a 'This is Me' book with them, to ensure I can find ways to make the treatment less distressing.

Perhaps you are reading this and thinking I am not a health professional, but I want to know more. Maybe you have a family member or friend recently diagnosed.  Whilst there is a wealth of information available on the internet, provided by the various charities, I wanted to point you in the direction of a new initiative from the Alzheimers Society.  Dementia Friends offer you the chance to find out more about the illness and how to help people with dementia.  Lets all help make this an understood illness to make life less distressing for those diagnosed.

Until next time, take care.
Zoe
xo

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Retraining : The Final Push


In just six weeks time I will have officially finished my course. All assignments will be submitted, final exams completed, clinical placement finished and competencies achieved.  Yet this seems like the hardest part.  Having handed in my dissertation in the middle of March, I am struggling to get motivated for this final push.  I have one assignment to write, a verbal exam, or OSCD as we call them and four weeks of clinical time left.  With only three competencies left to complete, which will be done the first week back after assessment week, I can just get stuck in without worrying about achieving any competencies.  

Knowing that I am almost there is exciting and scary, especially as I have applied for my first job.  So now I just need to get motivated, complete the final requirements, then I can enjoy some time at home before I start my new career.  

Have a lovely weekend and until next time, take care.
Zoe
xo

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Life Is Better With Cake

#betterwithcake
Outdoor Adventures


Yes I know that I like to promote a healthy lifestyle but it is true, life really is better with cake.  Over the past couple of weeks having the children at home has meant there have probably been more cake days than normal in our house.  After a trip to the park with a nice cup of tea, eaten at the forest after a rambling walk along the pathways between the trees and ferns or on warm sunny days on the beach with a picnic. My favourite time to sit and enjoy cake is after I have spent hours gardening and I sit with a cup of tea and usually a couple of the children, in the garden, admiring the view of my tidier flower beds and freshly mown lawn. 

#betterwithcake

There is something very comforting about a slice of cake, and we all love to bake but sometimes there just aren't enough hours in a day so this is when I rely on Mr Kipling to provide that sweet treat.  

I am sure you will all agree life really is better with cake.

Until next time, take care.
Zoe
xo

This post is an entry for #betterwithcake Linky Challenge (http://bit.ly/betterwithcake), sponsored by Mr Kipling. Learn more at   https://www.facebook.com/mrkiplingcakes

Friday, 10 April 2015

A Summer of Festivals - Camp Bestival

There is a hint of warmer days ahead and with thoughts of summer we are starting to think about where we will be pitching our tent this summer.  Obviously I won't have the same degree of flexibility this summer as I start my new career, but panic not, I will be taking some annual leave to head to a festival or two with Andy and our children.  So I thought over the next few weeks I would share some of our favourites and those we want to try.


Camp Bestival is top of our list again this year, with a line up to rival previous years and a theme that is really exciting for us.  Being outdoors, enjoying the wild has been part of our lives for years so the Wild theme of our favourite festival is of course perfect, nevermind that Michaela Strachan and Steve Backshall being there and of course we loved the National Trust activities last year, especially climbing that huge tree.  So undoubtedly we will be heading to Dingly Dell early on the Friday! Of course the music line up is important too, there is always music on in our house and we all love sharing new finds and old tunes with each other.  With the Kaiser Chiefs, Clean Bandit and Ella Henderson included in the line up, everyone is happy, but for me it has to be Soul II Soul.  This band is the sound of the summers of my sixth form days.  Immediately I am taken back to the hazy days of being a teenager, planning my escape via university, lazing around with friends, just chilling and knowing that this hacienda will end again soon as our studies transplant us around the country.  


Obviously there is a plethora of other acts and activities, with the comedy line up press release landing in my inbox yesterday, including Marcus Brigstocke, Matt Richardson and Kerry Godliman. And with the promise of more acts to be announced I am sure Camp Bestival is heading for it's best year yet.  

To find out more about Camp Bestival or to book tickets, go on you know you want to....head over to the website...on your marks, get set go....www.campbestival.net

Have a fabulous weekend and until next time, take care.
Zoe
xo