Meet Wendy Wilkinson

Wendy WilkinsonWendy Wilkinson is Director of Clinical Quality for InHealth. She qualified as a diagnostic radiographer in 1980 and worked in both the NHS and independent sector in a range of diagnostic radiography roles. Wendy is also part of our Leadership & Management SIG and a member of the BIR Education Committee. 

1. In your opinion, what are the key issues and challenges for the radiology and radiation oncology workforce?
Currently more staff are retiring or leaving the profession than are being replaced by new trainees and graduates. The gap between the supply of people and the increased demands on the radiology and radiation oncology workforce is widening in an alarming way.

It is more important than ever to attract both young people and mature students into the radiology and radiation oncology workforce by promoting the interesting and varied career opportunities that there are within this healthcare sector.

2. Which radiographers (from the past or present) do you most admire and why?
One of my friends extended their scope of practice into radiographer reporting several years’ ago. They took on axial and appendicular reporting and then moved onto chest reporting. They lead on reporting audit at their NHS Trust now and collaborate with the radiologists to run an effective REALM meeting.

I think they do a brilliant job and, along with other reporting radiographers and radiologists, maintain a short turnaround time for imaging reports at the Trust to enhance the radiology service and ensure patient safety.

3. Can you sum the BIR up in three words?
Education, collaboration and quality.

4. What would be your advice to a young person starting out as a radiographer today?
Learn your anatomy – technology changes swiftly and what you learn as an undergraduate may be superseded very quickly, however, time spent gaining a deep knowledge of anatomy will serve you well throughout your career.
The human body is the same now as at the start of my career but wet processing, cassettes containing film and a whole raft of imaging procedures have long gone.

5. What is the biggest challenge you have faced in your career?
Moving from a rural district general hospital to a London teaching hospital for my first qualified job felt like a big challenge at the time.

6. What is your proudest achievement (in work or out)?
In work – achieving complimentary BIR membership for all radiographers has been brilliant
Out of work – my family

7. Who has been the biggest influence in your life?
No one person but I read a lot professionally and for pleasure so I would say "authors".

8. What might we be surprised to know about you?
I can make delicious home-made pasta (but don’t ask about my first attempt!)

8. When you are not working, how do you like to spend your time?
Anything to do with horses, walking the dog, spending time in the countryside or learning to grow veg.

9. Which actor would play you in the film about your life?
It would have to be a cartoon character, maybe Droopy that white Bassett hound from old American animation.

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