'I absolutely love being an apprentice and support from colleagues is fantastic'

Radiography apprentice Lucie Armson explains why she switched from a career in finance to become a diagnostic radiographer

Published: 20 February 2024 People

Lucie Armson is a radiography apprentice at the Somerset NHS Foundation Trust, having chosen to make the switch to a radiography career from finance. 

Ms Armson started her apprenticeship during the pandemic, after being inspired by the hard work of health professionals in the NHS.

She explained that after becoming bored of her career in finance, she started thinking about health service roles.

'I didn't want to sit at a desk for forty years'

“When lockdown happened, like many others, I had to start working from home. I realised that I didn’t want to sit at a desk for the next 40 years, it just wasn’t for me. I decided to have a look at the different types of careers out there, and although I knew I wanted to do something in the healthcare sector, I didn’t really have any ideas of what would best suit me.

“I didn’t think of radiography at all, and it had never crossed my mind until I started doing some research. I randomly stumbled across it, decided to find out more, and realised it was the only thing I could imagine myself doing.”

Ms Armson first undertook an Access to Higher Education Diploma, an online distance learning course, while still working in her finance job. She achieved the qualifications necessary to apply to university, but found it “wasn’t viable” due to her own monetary situation.

Instead, she sought out the apprenticeship route, where she found a course to begin working at Musgrove Park Hospital, in Taunton, Somerset, based in the radiology department four days of the week, with one day for study leave.

'It's so varied'

For the first year, she focused on X-rays, which gave her insight into anatomy and the physics side of X-ray production, which she said was “all very interesting and easy to learn”.

“A typical day for me would be x-raying patients who may have been referred in by their GP, or someone who has come through our emergency department, such as those with broken bones. I get to go into CT and MRI too and learn how to do those types of scans, which is really interesting. 

“It’s so varied and I could be anywhere. I might spend time in ultrasound, nuclear medicine, but most of the time it’s X-ray based. I also have a protected study day every week, which is where I do all my online learning and academic work. By learning the theory that lays behind the practical work I’m doing, it all ties in nicely.”

Ms Armson added she would like to stay in X-Ray for a few months post-qualification, but that she doesn’t know where she wants her career to head after that.

'The support from my colleagues is fantastic'

“People tend to go into lots of different medical imaging routes, and I’ll see how it goes in the first couple of months of being qualified. I absolutely love being an apprentice and find the support from my colleagues is fantastic, all our radiographers are amazing and are keen to teach and clearly want me to succeed as well.

“I’m so thankful for the opportunity of an apprenticeship, which is an amazing path into a career, especially if you’re classed as a mature student or if you have a family at home.

“I think back to those days when I was stuck behind a desk working from home in the pandemic, and compare what I was doing then to what I’m doing now…I’m so much more happier, and am loving working at Somerset FT!”

For access to all of the SoR’s online resources for student learning and education, as well as wellbeing and employment support, please visit the SoR Student Hub

(Image: Lucie Armson, via Somerset NHS Foundation Trust)