Case study

High employability rate clinched course choice for Yumna

Yumna was looking for a degree leading to a clearly defined job after graduating. When she saw the employability rate for our BSc (Hons) Diagnostic Radiography, she knew it was the course for her.

First impressions

Yumna had already heard good things about the course before she came to an Open Day. She says: “The course is established and well recognised, and has a good structure and balance between academic teaching and clinical placement in comparison to other courses. The high employability rate also stood out to me.”

95% of our BSc (Hons) Diagnostic Radiography graduates are in work or further study within 15 months of completing this course (Graduate Outcomes Survey).

And the Open Day confirmed her choice. “I had a good impression from the Open Day I attended before applying,” she says. “The University felt very inclusive and welcoming, and this extended to the radiography teaching team as well.

“The independent practice module, which involves choosing a site for an elective placement and writing about an area of interest, also appealed to me.”

From a virtual classroom to preparing for practice

Yumna is preparing to graduate and bring to life her vision for the future. She was one of our students who started her studies online due to the Covid-19 pandemic. She says: “I am grateful that teaching has returned onto campus. I enjoy studying and socialising in the atrium, and often use the library to work on my assignments."

Yumna has been able to enjoy the practical side of her profession and has enjoyed using our facilities to enhance her learning. “We have some traditional lectures to learn the basic principles of imaging,” she explains. “However, much of the teaching is interactive and involves group work.

“The University has a mock ward which is used for simulations on mobile radiography. The fully functional x-ray room was extremely useful before going on my first clinical placement to understand the basics of the equipment and how to take different views. In second year, it provided a safe space to practice more advanced radiographic techniques in the form of role play.

“Much of the equipment, such as the mobile x-ray machine and image intensifier in theatre, is very similar to my clinical placement sites. Therefore, the technical details learned at university can be easily translated to a real-life setting in the hospital. The neonatal incubator was very beneficial to experiment with before performing x-rays on a neonatal intensive care unit on placement.”

Portrait of student Yumna Ismail

The course is established and well recognised, and has a good structure and balance between academic teaching and clinical placement in comparison to other courses. The high employability rate also stood out to me.

Yumna Ismail
BSc (Hons) Diagnostic Radiography

Putting theory to practice

Yumna has undertaken practice placements during all three years of her course. “I was on the Nottingham placement rotation, rotating between Queen's Medical Centre (QMC), Nottingham City Hospital and Nottingham NHS Treatment Centre,” she explains. “All the sites are excellent and have provided a varied learning experience. I spent many weeks in outpatient and inpatient x-ray, as this forms a major part of our training. I was also rostered to MRI, CT, Ultrasound, Nuclear medicine, Cardiac Catheter labs, interventional radiology, A&E imaging areas and theatres.

“I have had the opportunity to take various MRI and CT scans under supervision, as well as screening in orthopaedic procedures in theatre. In first year, I was recognised for my level of compassionate care and was awarded a certificate for this.

“I have observed and participated in many scan techniques that I later learned about during university lectures and sessions. Having practical experience in these areas allows for a deeper level of understanding and knowledge when we learn the theory behind it.

“My elective placement experience at Birmingham Children’s Hospital involved observing MRI scans for paediatric patients under general anaesthesia and sedation. This forms the topic for the assignment I am writing, which I am hoping to publish in the Society of Radiographer’s Insight paper.

“The most rewarding part of placement is when patients thank you for caring for them. Often, I have found that small gestures and acts of care, such as informing them of each step of the imaging process, can make a huge difference.”

Students using mobile x-ray equipment and engaging with a patient in hospital bed
Yumna developed her skills in our mock ward - and on placement

Next steps

Yumna is now reflecting on her experience and looking to the future – and how much she has changed during the course. She says: “My confidence on placement has improved immensely and I feel comfortable interacting with patients of all ages. The most important lesson that I have learnt is to be proactive and approachable: more opportunities will come to you, and you will have a better learning experience.”

In terms of her future career, Yumna would like to enter a specialist area of radiography: either ultrasound, paediatrics or MRI. She adds: “I also would like to be actively involved in research and teaching during my career. My degree will give me an excellent foundation which I can use to build my skills.”

And she has advice for anyone thinking of coming to study Radiography at Derby. She says: “It requires a lot of commitment and is challenging. However, radiography is a rewarding and varied career and provides a good balance between technical and patient care skills. I would recommend the course to anyone considering a career in healthcare.

“Additionally, the NHS LSF grant provides some financial support during your training, with additional amounts as radiography is a shortage specialism.”