Mark Beattie - Radiology Practice Educator
Mark is a Radiology Practice Educator in the Ulster Hospital, Dundonald, just outside Belfast. Mark has been telling us a little about his job.
Can you tell us how about your job and what you do from day to day?
I am the practice educator within the radiology department at the Ulster Hospital. My role is to manage, supervise and support the diagnostic radiography students from Ulster University whilst on clinical placement.
I demonstrate to the students how to perform radiographic examinations on ward patients, trauma patients and outpatients, in order to achieve the highest possible image quality whilst using the lowest possible radiation dose. I also prepare practical and theoretical tutorials to reinforce the knowledge that the students will have gained at university.
I review the students’ written work and perform student assessments. I then liase with the university to keep them informed of each students’ progress during placements. If a student is experiencing difficulties during placements I will work closely with the university to develop strategies to assist the student to meet placement outcomes.
How long have you been in your current role?
I have been the Radiology Practice Educator for 18 months.
What experience/education is required in order to perform this role?
In order to become a Diagnostic Radiographer you must complete a 3 year Bachelor of Science Honors Degree. This can be undertaken at a number of universities across the UK. Upon successful completion of the Diagnostic Radiography course you are then eligible to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council which will allow you to practice within the UK.
Once you have gained sufficient experience as a Band 5 Radiographer (usually 2 years) then you are eligible to apply to train in one of the specialist imaging modalities such as computed tomography (CT) or ultrasound. This involves completion of a Post Graduate Certificate/Diploma in medical imaging. In my case I completed a Post Graduate Diploma in Medical Ultrasound.
In order for me to become accredited as a Practice Educator with the Society of Radiographers I completed a further Post Graduate module entitled “Enhancing Teaching and Learning in the Practice Setting”.
What is the biggest challenge in your role?
As we receive placement students from all three years of the radiography degree course, with varying degrees of ability, the biggest challenge for me is adapting to working with students who have different abilities, to ensure that I am supporting those who are struggling whilst also challenging more competent students.
What advice would you give to others looking for a job in your field?
Go for it. Radiography is an excellent career choice if you have a caring nature and are interested in working in a fast paced and ever changing environment.
What do you like best about your role and working in HSC?
The thing I like best about my role is that I have a mix of working in the clinical setting, caring for patients and performing radiographic examinations, and getting to spend time teaching and developing the next generation of radiographers.