Careers at University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust
Aug 15th, 2018
It was 6 years ago, after a break to look after her daughter and after several part time jobs, when Irena decided to look for something more than a job: a career. She wanted to work for the NHS and had developed an interest in nuclear medicine when she was a semi-professional athlete back in Croatia, where she is originally from. “I remember having an injury in my foot; I found it very interesting to see how they injected me before the scan. It was completely different to the other X-Rays I had before”.
For that reason, when she saw online that there was a vacancy for this depatment at University Hospitals Bristol she did not hesitate in applying. She soon joined the Nuclear Medicine team as a radiographic assistant, covering a temporary position but she never left. Instead, she decided to work hard and progress in her career.
And the opportunities came. In 2014 the team suffered a number of changes and Irena was promoted to a nuclear medicine assistant role with more independence to scan. Another promotion would follow soon after when she completed her cannulation training.
It was then when the Superintendent, who noticed Irena’s interest in learning, offered her the possibility of studying a Postgraduate certificate in Nuclear Medicine. “I had a degree in Civil Engineering, and I was very interested in learning and doing more, always asking a lot of questions”.
But it was not without effort and sacrifice. “It was really hard combining family and work commitments. I spent lots of sleepless nights but it all paid off,” says proud Irena. She has now finished her studies and is waiting for the professional registration that will grant her a post as a Nuclear Medicine Practitioner.
A supportive team
“My superintendent is fantastic, this wouldn’t have happened without her” explains Irena. She feels incredibly grateful with the team for all their constant support. “They are very encouraging and helpful. If they don’t know the answer to your question, they’ll find it for you”.
Irena transmits passion and enthusiasm when she talks about Nuclear Medicine. She likes the variety of scans they do and the contact with the patients. She finds the procedures fascinating but she is also conscious that this very specialised field of Radiology is unknown by many and there is a national shortage of professionals in the discipline. Irena encourages those with an interest in Radiology to discover it: “It’s so very scientifically based and the results are so different to other modalities of radiography. To those who work hard and persevere, their potential will be recognised and they will find good development opportunities.”