Salwa is a second-year undergraduate student studying diagnostic radiography, who moved from Birmingham to London for university.
A little bit about me…
My name is Salwa and I have just completed my second year at City. I study diagnostic radiography and will be entering the final year of my course soon. My degree is primarily about learning how to produce and evaluate x-ray images in order to diagnose disease and trauma to the human body.
My favourite things about City would be the central London location and the diversity at this institution. I grew up in Birmingham which although is the second largest city in the country, it feels like a completely different world to London!
I made the decision to study at City based on my positive experiences visiting the campus and during my interview process. I was made to feel welcome. I originally did not intend to move out for university – the plan was to stay in my hometown and pursue a career in diagnostic imaging there – however, I loved what City had to offer and eventually the plan to move to London emerged. I was made to feel welcome.
My experience studying radiography at City has been varied
I have had a variety of modules since starting my degree ranging from the anatomy of the body to the physics behind the medical equipment we use. My assessment styles also vary, from a standard written exam to practical exams and verbal assessments. I like the balance – not everything is black and white – I feel that the various modules we cover and the different ways we are tested help prepare us for our professional career and bring out our strengths. It’s a valuable foundation to have if you later decide to specialise further.
My experience at university also involves a clinical placement. On my placement I get the opportunity to learn by observing and practicing in a real-life setting whilst being supervised by qualified radiographers and working alongside other medics such as doctors, surgeons and nurses. It’s interesting to see how each different role in public health plays a crucial part in the diagnosis, management and treatment of a patient.
“Having a placement as part of your time at university is a good opportunity to grow and develop, not only professionally but on a personal level too.”
Before I started at City I had a job in healthcare. My clinical background helped me in terms of familiarity with certain aspects, but I found it was not necessary as the all required training is given. Some important skills to have as a radiography student whilst on placement would be to be efficient, diligent and to be able to work as part of a team and independently (once qualified).
Being able to adapt to different settings and scenarios is another valuable skill. This is particularly important for me as my placement is at St. Mary’s Hospital which is a major trauma centre. Different hospitals can have different specialities – a major trauma centre basically means the hospital specialises in delivering care for the most severely injured.
There’s no typical day in the A&E department
It’s also important to be professional and aware of the needs of patients as we have a duty of care to them. I must be mindful of the fact that most patients would rather not be where they are, so it’s important to be kind, have empathy and to exercise patience myself. I have learnt that people really appreciate this, especially if they are anxious.
I have found that working part-time whilst at university is manageable but it’s important to not work too many hours
During my first year I had a part-time job in retail but as I knew my second year of university would largely be spent at placement, I decided to leave my job. I had the opportunity to work student jobs at my university instead, which are flexible. This involves working as a tutor with both primary and secondary schools as well as working as an ambassador. Having flexible working hours available is a good way to stay balanced so you have time for studying and time for yourself too.
I have been fortunate to have these roles as I find it extremely rewarding and thoroughly enjoy what I do.
Attending Open days helped Salwa get a feel for City’s campus and community and helped decide where she wanted to go to university. Find university open days here or check universities’ websites.