Over the summer Sheffield Teaching Hospitals played host to four elective radiography students from Singapore. The students attended over a two week period for a rotation through the imaging departments where they undertook supervised examinations in a variety of settings and opportunities to observe in specialised areas. It was an exciting opportunity to share UK practice with overseas students and learn about radiographic practice outside of the UK.
Cecilia, Nitiyashini, Mignon & Trisha’s rotation included time in plain film, CT, MRI and angiography departments across five hospital sites. Sheffield offers elective placements to students across the country, but this was the first time the offer was extended outside of the UK.
Recently the students (who have now qualified) wrote to us to share their experience of Sheffield Teaching Hospitals and radiography in the UK.
The students commented: “It was a privilege to have been given the chance to experience radiography in the UK. We definitely had a memorable time in Sheffield Teaching Hospitals. The staff and students were very friendly and accommodating. We felt right at home during our time in Sheffield.
“In terms of radiography, the culture of treating the patients is very different. There is a greater emphasis of care for the patient in the UK by moving the x-ray tube instead of making the patient move so much. Another interesting thing we noticed is that the changing rooms are attached directly to the x-ray room. We have never seen such an innovative idea in Singapore.
“Radiographic techniques used are very precise (eg tight collimation) and there is a preference to use adaptation techniques. Radiographers in UK have more autonomy in terms of deciding any additional views required, which makes more sense compared to in Singapore where radiographers do not have autonomy.
“Radiographers also take the time to interact with the patients to find out what happened that led them to arrive at the radiology department. In Singapore, we rarely communicate with the patients due to time constrain.
“During our time in Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, we enjoyed getting to experience the patient care, hand hygiene awareness and infection control. The radiographers as well as the student radiographers are friendly and willing to share their knowledge with us.
“Mostly, we enjoyed learning new ways to modify the views to enhance patient care.
“We would encourage international students to experience radiography in the UK. The radiographers are very friendly and willing to teach. Most of the equipment is similar to that in Singapore but the radiographic techniques are very different. It is always a privilege to get a chance to learn how people in another country do their job.“
David Smith, Practice Educator / Acting Operational Manager OGN at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals said: “The benefits of hosting these students far outweighed the challenges faced in preparing for their visit. It was refreshing to see them integrate easily into the department and share their practice with our students and staff. In particular, the differences in autonomy between radiographers in the UK and Singapore meant this was a valuable learning experience for the students.
“We were consistently impressed with their enthusiasm during their time with us. It was certainly a pleasure hosting these students.”