NHS Careers: You Don’t Have to be a Doctor or Nurse

Newly qualified Ismat Khan got an Allied Health Professional career following her interest in wider healthcare roles within the NHS.

NHS Careers You Don't Have to be a Doctor or Nurse f

"Only then did I understand the whole variety"

Newly qualified Ismat Khan was drawn to an NHS Allied Health Professional career by her interest in wider healthcare roles.

Moved by the care that her grandparents received, Ismat Khan was inspired to choose a career and qualification in the NHS.

Ismat says: “I always knew I wanted to get into healthcare but I thought that the NHS was only about becoming a doctor or nurse.

“I changed career paths when I decided to drop chemistry at school.

“I explored other options through a future career programme and open days.

“Only then did I understand the whole variety of healthcare professionals.

The sharp and savvy 21-year-old graduated from the University of Cumbria in July 2021.

Ismat embraced opportunities to help during the Covid-19 pandemic from the very beginning.

She says: “The course exceeded my expectations!

“It provided me with many placements, even during Covid.

“It gave me the unique opportunity to develop myself as a person and a professional.

“I was also among 40,000 student healthcare workers, including nurses, midwives and paramedics, who returned to placements to help on the frontline.

“In my final year, under a protective environment during Covid, we had lots of opportunities on the front line, and pushed to be independent too.”

However, the course gave Ismat several surprises.

She explained: “I found it shocking that a large majority of patients who come into hospital require a scan at least once through their treatment.

“I don’t think that the population realises who we are, which is ironic as medical imaging sits at the forefront of modern medicine.

“My other surprise was getting on placement so early on in our first year, getting hands-on experience and understanding the role of a radiographer straight away.

“That helped me to decide very quickly if this profession was right for me.

“This role is different every day. We get to be part of a whole range of departments across the hospital and there are several options to specialise and progress.

“Every day is different. I meet a whole range of people from the elderly to children.”

“A hand or chest x-ray may be the same task, but it needs to be handled uniquely patient to patient.

“There are such different people, with different circumstances and behaviour on the day. Some may be anxious, or just wanting to chat.”

Ismat states that the majority of people do not know what a radiographer does but she believes they are “unique”.

She says: “Radiography can have so much emotional interaction. Especially with children!

“Sometimes they are so scared of equipment, and we need to make sure our approach is appropriate so they’re relaxed and gain a good report in a short space of time.

“Each day, each patient is different. You never know who will come through the door!

“Meeting new people, for sure, is the most rewarding thing. It’s a cliché but patients, at the end of the day, make working in the NHS rewarding.

“I had never realised that there were so many opportunities for progression in my role.

“For example, leadership. I never realised when I entered into this profession that I could get into teaching and mentoring, which I love, having had great teachers and mentors that I now look up to too, as role models.”

Search ‘NHS Careers’ to find out more.

Dhiren is a journalism graduate with a passion for gaming, watching films and sports. He also enjoys cooking from time to time. His motto is to “Live life one day at a time.”

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