Radiographer

Gillian Cheyne is a radiographer who works with CT, MRI and X-rays to examine the internal structure of patient’s body to help reach diagnosis or aid treatment.

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Gillian Cheyne: Radiographer (audio transcript)

[Beep]

Gillian: “Hi my name is Gillian Cheyne and I work as a radiographer here at Great Ormond Street Hospital, taking pictures, good quality scans so that doctors can look inside your body and see what’s going on there.

“We get children who have tumours and cancers or problems with their bones and so we need to have a look inside and we use CT or MRI or just plain x-rays to have a look to see what’s going on inside you.”

Gillian: “Hi Matthew, I’m Gillian one of the radiographers and I’m going to take your x-rays today. Can you tell me when your birthday is?”

Matthew: “28th of June 2000”

Gillian: “Right, fantastic. So we've got the right patient, so we need to have your shoes and socks off and if you want to come over onto the table, I’ll just go and grab the cassettes and we’ll get started.”

Gillian: “So today I’m working in x-ray and we have a patient called Matthew who we are going to x-ray his left hand and both his feet.”

Gillian: “Matthew do you want to come over and sit in this chair and well do the picture of your hand first then we'll do your feet, ok?”

Gillian: “If you’re coming for an x-ray well bring you into a room that has a camera, a bed and a funny kind of thing against the wall.

“Depending on what you’re having x-rayed depends on where you sit in that room and depending on your age you’ll either be able to face the camera or you turn away from the camera and we take the picture. It’s just like a normal photograph except we use a very large camera.

Gillian: “Ok, so we’re just going to pop this board here. Can we just roll your sleeve up if that's ok? And we'll just pop your hand right here and we’ll just pop this lead here cos we’re only going to take a picture of your hand. And I’m just gonna bring the camera over. OK, it’s gonna shine a light on you. OK nice and still now.”

[Beep]

Gillian: “That’s that one done.”

Gillian: “To be radiographer and to take x-rays you have to have quite a good background in physics, which they cover in your degree cos you have to know how much radiation to give the camera so we can make sure we’ve got the best picture possible. You also have to be very patient cos lots of our patients don't want to have their photo taken and so you have to play around with them and so that you can get them nice and relaxed so that they’ll stay nice and still for the picture.”

Gillian: “Right Matthew, we’re just gonna do a picture of your feet. OK, fantastic. So if you pop your foot down here and what I want you to do is just bend your knee so that it’s flat so that we get a picture of your toes and everything, OK?”

Gillian: “When you have an x-ray it doesn’t hurt at all. You won’t feel anything - it’s just like having your normal photograph taken. The camera does make a little bit of a whirring sound but other than that you wouldn’t notice anything different.

“I became a radiographer because when I left school I wanted to be a maths teacher and didn’t and so I was looking through a prospectus and my eye caught on radiography. And so I fell into it basically and I absolutely love my job now. I looked at it and thought it was something I would enjoy doing.”

Gillian: “Right Matthew that’s us all finished.”

Matthew: “Thank you.”

Gillian: “You’re good to go and you’re going back to see Miss Smith now.”

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