Tips on Work Placements for Student Radiographers

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Published: 30 Oct 2017      

While Sonographers Medical offers access to several radiography jobs throughout the UK, we also recognise the need to help student radiographers develop the skills needed to apply for these radiography jobs successfully.

Many radiography degrees involve a work placement, during which you’ll get a feel for the work that you’ll do after qualifying. Here are some tips on how to acquit yourself during your work placement.

Learn About the Medical Facility

This is such a basic tip, but many student radiographers fail to properly research their place of work before the placement. You should try to show an interest in your workplace. Ask about the type of procedures that you’ll undertake, and whether you’ll work in tandem with other hospitals.

This serves two purposes. It shows that you have an interest, which means the hospital may consider taking you on full-time once you finish your studies. It also helps you to figure out of the placement is right for you.

Brush up on the Basics

You may go a long time between practical assignments while studying, so it always helps to give yourself a refresher before you start your placement. After all, theoretical knowledge isn’t all that you need to be a successful radiographer.

Make sure your knowledge of basic anatomy and examination protocols is tip-top, else you’ll find yourself having to relearn a lot of things. Your workplace will find this irritating, especially if you’re in your second or third year of study. You need to show that you’re ready to progress from the moment you set foot through the door.

Work with the Pros

You’ll probably be on placement with a few other students. This can help you to feel more comfortable, but it can also have a detrimental effect on your learning. After all, fellow students are in the same position as you are, so you can’t learn as much from them as you need to.

As a result, you should take every opportunity to work with qualified radiographers. Ideally, you’ll work one-on-one with the pros as much as possible. This allows you to ask questions, without the nervousness that can come with having other students watching over your shoulder.

You’re Not There to Advise

Arrogance is the enemy of any student radiographer. However, there may be times when you see a qualified radiographer doing something differently to how you’ve been taught. This isn’t your time to pipe up and tell the radiographer how to do his or her job.

Instead, wait until you have a moment alone with the professional and ask why they did things a certain way. The explanation should reveal new information, plus you don’t make the blunder of accusing a professional of making mistakes in front of a patient.

Be Punctual

This catch-all tip is great for any workplace, but student radiographers get a lot of kudos for good time management.

Try to arrive at your workplace about 10 or 15 minutes early. This shows your professionalism, and gives you some time to organise your day. Also, don’t rush out of the door the second the clock strikes your leaving hour. Instead, check with the team to ensure it’s okay for you to leave. If you’re able to stay for a little while, do so. You’ll get major plus points if you show such commitment to your work.

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