Rhiannon Dumper, Trauma Plain Film Radiographer, University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trusts, Derriford, spoke to us about her inspiration for her World Radiography Day poster.
Where did you get the idea for your poster and how have radiographers inspired you?
The ideas from my poster came from my personal experiences of being a radiographer during the Covid crisis. I chose to incorporate the things that really stood out to me such as the high levels of PPE we have to wear when performing imaging on Covid positive patients. I used a rib cage to represent chest X-rays, which is an integral diagnostic tool used to provide significant information on a patient’s condition and treatment options.
I also chose to replace some of the letters in the NHS logo, including the H which I changed to a radiographer pushing a mobile X-ray machine (used for imaging Covid positive patients on wards when they are too ill to be moved and to help contain the spread of coronavirus). I replaced the S with the superman logo, which the public have used to show appreciation of NHS workers. I also included a rainbow which people have been using to show support and positivity during these uncertain times. Finally, I included a radiation symbol and radiographic markers which are commonly associated with radiographers.
I have never done anything like this before, but I have always been creative and enjoyed drawing. However, I often struggle to find time due to sporting commitments, but since lockdown meant I could no longer train or compete. I've enjoyed more creative projects such as drawing and painting. I thought this would be a good project to show my friends and family what I do, and how vital radiographers have been during Covid.
What does World Radiography Day mean to you?
It is an opportunity to show others what I do. Whilst studying at university, we ran quizzes on WRD and it was interesting to see what my friends and other students thought radiographers did, and it was good to show them the depth and breadth of our knowledge from physics to anatomy and physiology. Since working, I feel more pride in what I do. I find it’s a nice day to reflect on the positive impacts we can make for patients and take time to celebrate colleagues and our department as a whole. It is also nice to receive the parcel of posters and stickers and decorate the department for patients and make them more interested in the role we play in their care.
What have you learned about radiographers during the pandemic?
I have learned that we are extremely adaptable and hardworking, as is often said in our department: 'improvise, adapt, overcome'. As wards change between green, amber and red we work hard to communicate these changes amongst other departments and adapt our practices where needed. We worked hard to retrain staff coming out of modalities back to plain film to help cover staff who were shielding and in preparation for worse case scenarios. We trained in infection control, donning and doffing PPE and mask fitting. We came together to support each other covering additional shifts, creating virtual quizzes and consuming lots of baked goods. As the pandemic continues we are still learning and adapting in order to provide our diagnostic services for those that need it.
Tell us one thing you hope to see for radiographers in the future?
A greater recognition and appreciation of the role we play in modern medicine. Almost every patient that enters the hospital requires some form of diagnostic imaging, from plain film to MRI, CT and ultrasound. We remain a fairly unknown profession and through days like WRD I hope we can show the world what we do, the impacts we can make and encourage others to join a career in radiography. It is truly a rewarding profession in which every day is different and I am proud to call myself a radiographer.
Rhiannon's poster is available in the attachment below.