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12.4. Educator Case Study 2

Having qualified as a diagnostic radiographer in 1989 in one of the last few cohorts of the Diploma in Radiography, my experience of undergraduate education was very different to that delivered today. In 2003 I decided that I needed a role change as I felt that I had reached a point in my clinical career where further advancement was difficult. I successfully applied for a new role of radiography placements manager at Canterbury Christ Church University (CCCU). It was a bit of a step into the unknown and, at times, I felt quite isolated in what was a non-traditional education role. 

Whilst employed at CCCU I was offered the chance to commence a Postgraduate Diploma in Clinical Reporting, which fulfilled a long held ambition. After two years in the post and with my PgD almost complete I decided that the placements role was not right for me and decided to return to clinical work. At the time, I could not see how I could utilise my reporting skills and did not feel confident enough to lecture. However, I was determined to continue with higher education and completed my MSc in 2009. I found the experience of the Masters level programme stimulating; it encouraged me to analyse my work practices and to seek further opportunities to develop my CPD profile. It also improved my self-confidence and made me realise that I could deliver lectures!

After further NHS clinical work as a PACS manager, MRI radiographer and undertaking plain film reporting, I decided that I wished to stretch myself further and spent a day observing a lecturer. This confirmed my interest in working in academia and I undertook some sessional lecturing at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. My preparation for this came from my experience of being taught at Masters level and delivering presentations as part of the course assessments. A senior lecturer vacancy arose and I decided the time was right to apply for such a position. This was a big career change which I felt would provide opportunities for me to develop my areas of interest and hopefully, at some point, to make a difference to the future education of radiographers.

I have now been employed at CCCU since February 2011 and have found the experience stimulating and motivating. I am involved in various courses including postgraduate MRI reporting and a web based image interpretation programme. As a relative newcomer to education I aim to develop my lecturing and assessment skills to address the varying needs of undergraduate and postgraduate students. As a new academic I am currently undertaking a post graduate certificate in learning and teaching to develop the appropriate skills and knowledge required for this role. I am keen to seek further opportunities to enhance my knowledge of the delivery of radiography education and to learn new ideas from others. I have seen how innovative ways of teaching can make a difference to students and help to retain interest and motivation.

The transfer from clinical work to higher education was not one taken lightly as it was a big career change for me. I have found my first few months to be a steep learning curve but have found it satisfying when students leave a lecture with a smile and a thank you! My first module seems to have gone well with positive comments from students. I am thoroughly enjoying the very varied work which is providing a wealth of opportunities to develop my areas of expertise and interest to benefit radiographers in the UK and internationally. I am hoping to contribute to the radiography research base in the not too distant future.

Lisa Pittock, Senior Lecturer, Canterbury Christ Church University

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