November 8 2017
Who are you and what’s your background?
My name is Patricia Lupea and I am a Senior Radiographer at Peninsula NHS Treatment Centre in Plymouth. I am from Romania and started my career as a television presenter. My parents both became unwell and this was the catalyst that encouraged me to train as a radiographer, and after graduating I practised radiography and also presented a health programme on local Romanian TV. My family and I moved to Plymouth in 2014 when I started working at Peninsula NHS Treatment Centre
What is the importance of radiography as a profession?
It is vital for consultants to have a complete understanding of what is happening to their patients and our investigations help them to come to an accurate diagnosis. We are an important element of the patient care pathway.
What does an average day look like?
First thing we check the clinic lists and make sure we have each patient’s previous images. We check the theatre lists and image patients where required. We have a C-arm imaging machine in theatres and we are sometimes required to scrub up and image patients during their operations – sometimes this can be an urgent request. We run radiography services for day surgery too as well as for outpatient lists.
Why work for Care UK as a radiographer?
There are two main benefits to working for Care UK as a radiographer: the first is that you are given time to interact with your patients. This is great, because it means we can explain the procedure and what will happen – patients find this really reassuring, especially if they are nervous or in pain. The second is the encouragement we get for professional development. If you want to do a course or attend a conference and it is relative to your field, you are likely to get support for it.
What are some of the challenges you face?
The biggest challenge is prioritising our work – which is difficult but not impossible. Sometimes if we get a call from theatres while we are running imaging for an outpatient clinic there might be pressure on the schedule, but as a team we’re pretty good at managing this.
What are some of the positives and highlights?
Speaking to patients is the highlight of the job for me. Often patients come in feeling worried and stressed, and if I can do something to make them feel at ease and more comfortable it feels good. Only the other day I had a lady who was in so much pain that she cried when she moved, but by talking with her and listening to her I was able to help her have her x-ray with the minimum of pain and see her leave with a smile on her face.
What do you believe are the most important skills needed?
You have to be focused on patient care – the patient must be the first priority. That’s why, as well as being clinically excellent, you need to have good communication skills.