Shaira Hussain Shares Her Journey as a Therapeutic Radiographer to Inspire a Career in NHS

Shaira Hussain, Therapeutic Radiographer highlights the important and varied roles available in the health service, as NHS England re-launches the ‘We are the NHS’ campaign.

Now in its third year, the ‘We are the NHS’ campaign is back to celebrate the extraordinary work of NHS staff in over 350 roles including allied health professionals, nurses and healthcare support workers to inspire a new cohort to consider a career in the health service. 

Recruitment for the NHS has never been more important. The professionalism and dedication staff have shown throughout the pandemic has generated unprecedented interest in joining the NHS while the demands of contending with coronavirus and keeping other services running means recruitment has never been more crucial. ‘We are the NHS’ shines a light on some of the most in-demand roles in the NHS; all varied, exciting and challenging in equal measures.

A vital part of the NHS family – Allied Health Professionals – make a significant difference to the lives of thousands every day. They provide treatment and help rehabilitate adults and children who are ill, have disabilities or special needs. 

Many people may not be aware of the different Allied Health Professional roles available across the NHS, these include: occupational therapists, speech and language therapists, orthoptists, podiatrists, paramedics, physiotherapists, music therapists and radiographers to name a few.

Therapeutic Radiographer, Shaira Hussain recounts her inspiring journey and hopes to motivate others from the South Asian community to consider a career with the Allied Health Professions within the NHS.

“I became a Therapeutic Radiographer to help people at one of the most difficult stages in their lives and to see them recover through their cancer treatment. My role involves working with evolving technologies that are now widely available to treat diseases that were difficult to treat previously. Being a crucial part of the patients’ cancer pathway makes me feel like a valuable member of staff and is extremely rewarding!

Allied Health Professional roles are degree level professions, while studying for my three-year degree in Therapeutic Radiography I was able to go on placements and actually work in a hospital during my studies. It exceeded my expectations as I was not stuck in lectures all day and was offered a more practical approach. It was nerve-racking being patient facing in my first year but it has set me up for success and given me the confidence I need for my current role. The job is very different to my previous retail positions but it is really satisfying to know that I am making a positive difference to people’s lives.

“When seeing a patient ring the end of treatment bell there is such a sense of triumph and most times it’s very overwhelming. I really enjoy building a close rapport with patients, seeing them every day, having a laugh sometimes and putting a smile on their face is very important. 

“If you’re considering a role within the NHS I would say to go for it. If you’re up for a challenge and can adapt to change, a career in the NHS is for you. It is such a rewarding job and you feel content at the end of your shift. I would say be prepared for challenges but be reassured that you are never alone and you will always have others to fall back onto for advice or help.”

Watch the video campaign here:

This year, candidates for university courses relevant to Allied Health Professions roles have access to a support system to guide them step by step through the application process, alongside tailored support. Furthermore, annual payments of £5,000 to £8,000 are available to help studies. 

Search ‘NHS Careers’ to find out more.

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