Firstly, I would like to thank everyone who spoke at the Student Welcome Week events - you shared invaluable advice and all the support was appreciated.
I was grateful to learn about the flexibility of opportunities at the Society depending on your confidence level. My anxiety has worsened recently and while I don’t want it holding me back from opportunities, I didn’t want to bite off more than I could chew in fear of it scaring me and putting me off completely.
The varying levels of involvement in the society were therefore very attractive and there is always the opportunity to progress into something more involved when I feel able to. The most important takeaway for me was that choosing this course isn’t just the start of studying for a qualification, but also the start of your career in radiography and being a part of the Society will allow you to begin and consequently pursue your career path from the moment you start as a student on a radiography course.
The idea of going to other related departments rather than sticking to your own at clinical placement was really interesting to me, especially when you are nearing the end of your placement. Looking into the Macmillan support and other departments that your patients will come from or go to along their treatment journey would be invaluable to understand and empathise with them.
We have to remember that they are not just an appointment in your schedule for the day but a fellow human going through, what is likely to be, a hard time, since no one really comes into a hospital for a fun reason.
Being an MSc student, I felt I already knew a lot about assignment planning and writing, library resources and references (I owe my life to Mendeley – no joke) from my previous degree. However, thinking back to when I was starting out as an undergraduate, the advice that was given would have been incredibly useful to help the transition to the world of university education.
I feel that this support is especially welcome in 2020 because in normal times universities would be holding face-to-face events for all the extra resources and societies on offer, but alas, since this semester is currently all online (for my university anyway) this was not available. I send out my best wishes to those freshers starting this year - we will make it through these strange times together and stronger!
For my next steps I want to learn more about getting involved in Synergy News, the role of being a student representative for the society, and looking into what mental health support is available for radiographers and whether the Society could improve that. I enjoy writing and improving my writing, so getting something into Synergy News sounds ideal for me to get involved and open some new doors in my career.
In regards to finding out more about being a student representative, I will be joining the training session in November and hope to find out more information to help me decide what where my path will go next and whether I feel that the student representative role is the best option for me.
Sophie Poyser is an MSc student at London South Bank University studying Therapeutic Radiography