Lucy currently works in The Cambridge Breast Unit where she has been studying a level 4 apprenticeship in mammography.
She chose to do an apprenticeship after working in healthcare for several years where she had spent most of that time working in Imaging. She says that she always knew that she was capable of more responsibility but due to financial circumstances she never felt that she could commit to studying full time. By signing up to her apprenticeship it enabled her to develop new skills and study whilst still working.
What does a typical day look like in your role?
Lucy is responsible for performing mammograms on ladies that are attending for breast screening, either in the department or out on the mobile screening vans. This enables her and her team to detect early signs of cancer that would not usually be felt. She says that when she is in the department she is also able to perform imaging on ladies that are attending for research trials and symptomatic clinics, as well as assisting with interventional procedures in ultrasound such as ultrasound guided core biopsies.
What do you enjoy about your role?
Lucy says she enjoys working with an amazing team of Radiography Department Assistants, Radiographers and Radiologists and being able to provide support and care to the patients here both at CUH and out in the community.
What sorts of things do you do for the 20% off the job learning aspect of your apprenticeship?
Lucy’s off the job learning included departmental visits which meant that she was able to spend time observing breast surgery, breast pathology as well as following patient journeys throughout their treatment which involved her attending the radiotherapy and chemotherapy unit.
Does this involve attending college or is it all completed at work?
Due to the pandemic Lucy’s study sessions and clinical observations took place either on zoom or in the department.
What are your future intentions?
Lucy achieved a Distinction for her Level 4 Apprenticeship and has recently been offered the Radiographer Degree Level 6 Apprenticeship. She will be moving to the main X-Ray Department in March.
What advice would you give to others who may be looking to take on an apprenticeship?
Don’t be put off applying if you have been out of education for a while. I was concerned that I would struggle as I haven’t studied since I was at sixth form thirteen years ago. However I have been provided with plenty of support throughout the duration of my apprenticeship and managed to achieve a Distinction in my final exam. This has been an amazing opportunity which I am so grateful for, and I am excited to be given the chance to become a Radiographer – thank you Addenbrooke's!