Unusual dual role pushes the boundaries

Published: 20 November 2018 Ezine

Siemens Healthineers has partnered with medical charity Cobalt to develop a pioneering dual role at Institute of Translational Medicine (ITM) Imaging Centre at the University of Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, which is pushing boundaries with involvement in a number of high-end research projects using cutting-edge technology.

Charlotte Cannon has been working in the new role for 18 months and supports the operational service of an MRI scanner. She provides both long-term application support and radiography skills to the ITM Imaging Centre, based at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital site.

This Joint Application Specialist/Clinical Radiographer role is a 50/50 split between a Siemens Healthineers Application Specialist role and a Cobalt Health Research/Clinical MRI Radiographer role.

Charlotte is able to work in the clinical setting both as part of the team and autonomously where necessary, undertaking duties that include cannulation and the administration of contrast agents, the moving and handling of patients and life support. She also provides additional training to all users of the equipment.

The additional clinical support has alleviated daily operational pressures on the team. It provides flexibility for staff leave, administration duties and absences, and frees up time for external training or meetings. And as a direct result of an increase in research, the ITM Imaging Centre is increasing to seven day working, meaning more patients will benefit from the expert knowledge, high-quality training and optimised research protocols.

“The pooling of information technology, operational and staffing resources has allowed us to deliver a first-class imaging facility,” commented Peter Sharpe, chief executive of Cobalt Health. “The expert insight has enabled us to look at more unusual research studies and call on additional support when needed to ensure that the right people are in the right places.”

“When we first created this staffing solution with Cobalt, we were extremely excited about the potential benefits, but the first 18 months have exceeded all our expectations,” said Kelly Parker, head of education and application services at Siemens Healthineers.

“The support and flexibility that the role provides is invaluable for all involved, facilitating the continuation of cutting-edge research and a high-quality MRI service for patients.”