Radiography students from across the UK gathered at Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) on 7 November at the first Inter-University Radiography Conference.
Prospective radiographers from GCU, Robert Gordon University and the University of Cumbria attended the student-led conference in Glasgow which coincided with World Radiography Day.
The conference was themed around the variety of career pathways open to student radiographers and the routes into them.
The GCU radiography society took the lead in organising the event in conjunction with the Scottish Council of the Society and College of Radiographers.
Maria Murray, Professional Officer for Scotland at the SCoR, kicked off proceedings with an inspiring lecture on the motivations of radiographers and the types of careers that may lie ahead.
There were also lectures from Aileen Duffton from NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (GCC) on the importance of radiography in research; cancer specialist Craig Blackwood on his career path; Barry Caldwell, also from NHS GCC, on clinical trials; and Patsy Whelehan from Dundee University on a career in mammography and research.
One of the most highly anticipated presentations was from Kirsteen Graham from the International Association of Forensic Radiographers.
Kirsteen spoke about her remarkable experiences in practising around the globe in a variety of complex situations.
She spoke about how her work had ranged from recovering bones from excavation sites to inspecting radiography facilities in Rwanda for the UN.
Kirsteen also gave an emotional account of her experience of being called to London in the aftermath of the 7/7 bombings, in which she and others set up an emergency hospital in the centre of London.
Her description of the traumatic experience of identifying the bodies of victims moved the room.
Kirsteen said that the work she does on top of her clinical responsibilities is ‘hugely rewarding’ as well as ‘challenging’ and encouraged others to get involved if possible.
Another eagerly anticipated talk was from Martha Henderson from Mercy Ships.
Martha is a diagnostic radiographer who studied at RGU and now works in Oban. She served aboard the Mercy Ship in Africa for five months towards the end of 2013.
Martha spoke about the adjustments she had to make when living on board ship, as well as the challenges in working with patients in that area of the world, especially with the limitations in supplies available.
“It was such a brilliant time in my life and I’d urge anyone with any skills whatsoever to get involved,” she said.
The organiser of the event, Laura Blackwood, a diagnostic imaging student at GCU, said: “We were thrilled to have so many wonderful speakers, particularly such a fair mix of therapy and diagnostic presentations.
“We hope to pass the event to Robert Gordon University next year to continue the success and hopefully expand to students at other universities.”