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A day in the life of a senior sonographer

I’m Kerry Leaf and I’m a Senior Sonographer working at the Bucks Diagnostic centre in High Wycombe. 

I have been working for Care UK for nearly 5 years, firstly in a bank role, and more recently as a permanent member of staff.

I qualified as a Radiographer in 2001 and worked in a busy NHS trust for 18 months before being given the opportunity to study for my Ultrasound qualification. The role of a sonographer is slightly different to that of most radiographers. It is our responsibility not only to perform the scan, but also to review the images and write a report for the clinicians based on our findings. As a newly qualified radiographer the responsibility and autonomy of an Ultrasound practitioner had always appealed.

On a typical day I may scan over twenty patients. Although on the face of it our workload may seem repetitive with lots of abdominal and Gynae procedures, however, every scan is slightly different and I love the challenge of trying to find out what is happening inside each particular patient - it’s like being a detective! 

There is always the opportunity to learn with a career in radiography and I hope to study MSK ultrasound in the near future to increase my skill base.

Our referrers are mainly GP’s so the patients are generally mobile and reasonably well. I love the variety of patients that we have the opportunity to interact with - coming from all walks of life, some of them are real characters and there's never a dull moment.

As well as the practical side of my job there is an admin component to the role.  Referrals for scan are vetted and signed off by us to assess the appropriateness of the procedure.  The most important aspect of our administration though has to be the production of a clinical report describing the anatomy demonstrated during the scan and any pathology or anomalies that were found.  This is an enormous responsibility as the referring clinician will put in place treatment pathways (or not) based on our findings.

The diagnostics team at High Wycombe is small in comparison to some department’s that I’ve worked in but I feel we have some very experienced, skilled and professional members of the team and I’m always extremely proud of the service that we offer our patients.

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