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Radiographer makes a splash with new writing venture

15 February, 2018
Pina Hannan
Pina Hannan

A CT Head Reporting Radiographer at Sherwood Forest Hospitals has branched out from her ‘day job’ by writing a children’s book to help youngsters learn to swim.

Pina Hannan, from Chesterfield, has been a radiographer at King’s Mill Hospital for 30 years, but in her spare time she is a qualified swimming coach and runs her own business teaching children and adults to swim. It was from there that her idea for a book grew.

The book, which is called Even Pink Duck Swims, comes with a purple rubber duck, is aimed at children between the ages of three and eight and follows the story of a pink duck as it watches the children learn to swim. It features simple language and colourful illustrations to talk children through the stages of learning to swim and helps them overcome any fears.

Pina said: “As a swimming coach I teach a lot of young children, as well as adults. I see teaching as a rewarding hobby and found that I was receiving lots of phone calls from parents saying that their children were learning to swim but were apprehensive, weren’t enjoying lessons or were traumatised by past swimming experiences.

“For me it’s important that both parents and children understand that some of these feelings when learning to swim are normal.

“This is where the idea for my book came from. The aim is that children feel like they can relate to the pink duck and the duck helps them understand their fear as they go through the book, teaching them that water is nothing to be afraid of, as well as techniques.

“Doing something like this is very different to my role as a radiographer, which I have done for a long time now, but there are similarities in the skills required. I have an immense amount of patience which is important whether I’m teaching children, students and radiographers or dealing with patients.

“I concentrate on ensuring that all explanations are simple, concise and easy to understand and I recognise that people in general have different levels of focus and ways of understanding. I never give up on anyone who has difficulties, whether it be a difficult patient who is confused or volatile, or staff who struggle with a certain aspect in their work. It is always important to be cheerful, smiling and create a nice working environment.”

Pina started to coach swimming 19 years ago and developed the idea for the book quite recently after taking flexible retirement in late 2016.

“It’s always a great feeling to see children coming on leaps and bounds with their swimming when doing lessons alongside reading the book. I hope it can help even more children learn to swim and overcome their fears,” she added.

The book is available from Bannister Publications or by emailing Pina

Lynda Johnson, Professional Officer for Clinical Imaging at the SoR, said: “I have known Pina for about six years since she joined the CT Head Reporting Radiographers Special Interest Group shortly after its inception in 2011.

“Right from the start, Pina has been an inspirational member of the group, overcoming her initial fear of presenting and sharing some very interesting and honest case studies in our supportive environment.

“She has also led local MDT meetings in her specialist area. The whole group have learned from her and we always look forward to her presentations, which invariably involve an element of humour.

“Pina is modest about her accomplishments but we know her to be a highly capable reporting radiographer and her achievements with swim coaching and publishing her book are a reflection of her passion, application, determination and hard work.

“Congratulations, Pina.”

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