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Lucy Horobin - Diagnostic Radiographer (Integrated Degree), Level 6 and Mammography Associate, Level 4

Lucy joined CUH in 2020 as a Mammography Associate Level 4 Apprentice but has worked in the field of Radiography since 2015.

She says she was consistently drawn to this career path and had wanted to pursue further education but the practicalities of maintaining a full-time job and managing other commitments posed significant challenges.

Lucy says that she found the structured apprenticeship programme at CUH, alongside the support from the Trust, enabled her to achieve a Distinction in her Mammography Apprenticeship which has led to her being able to progress onto the Diagnostic Radiography Level 6 Degree Apprenticeship.

Lucy Horobin

What does a typical day look like in your role?

On a regular day, I may find myself screening theatre cases under the supervision of a Senior Radiographer, providing real-time imaging support during surgeries or interventional procedures.

Alternatively, I might be in the A&E department performing x-rays on patients with a range of conditions, varying from fractures to trauma.

In the Outpatient Department, I perform a diverse range of x-rays for patients coming from various areas, including orthopaedic clinics. This involves providing imaging that will assist surgeons in planning and implementing effective future treatments.

When working in Inpatients, I collaborate with a team of Radiographers, collectively focusing on prioritising the best interest of the patients, delivering excellent care, and achieving optimal imaging outcomes that will contribute to their recovery.

What do you enjoy about your role?

I appreciate the daily variety in my role, and continually enhancing my skills and gaining insights from experienced colleagues within the trust.

Additionally, I enjoy exploring other modalities such as MRI and Ultrasound.

What sorts of things do you do for the off-the-job learning aspect of your apprenticeship and does this involve attending college, or is it all completed at work?

As part of my off-the-job learning, the university assigns me weekly tasks that range from physics, evidence-based practice and anatomy.

I am also expected to complete and upload worksheets onto my online portfolio that focus on cross-sectional modalities and write reflections.

During exam periods, my off-the-job time is dedicated to completing assignments and preparing for the online progress tests and computer-based assessments.

I attend campus at Exeter University, three weeks a year, and I am provided a study day and a non-clinical afternoon to keep up to date with the academic work.

The University also provides online lectures and seminars that we are required to attend, and additional drop-in sessions covering topics that apprentices need extra assistance with.

What are your future intentions?

Once I have completed my degree, my goal is to advance further in my career.

My current interest is Interventional Radiography, however, my primary focus right now is successfully finishing my final year before qualifying.

What advice would you give to others who may be looking to take on an apprenticeship?

If there’s an apprenticeship opportunity in a field you’re interested in, then you should go for it! Learning in a practical work environment has given me a deeper understanding of the role and having an approachable workplace mentor and academic mentor for university matters has been really helpful.

The main theme of this year’s National Apprenticeship Week is 'skills for life'. What are the most important skills for life that you have developed in your role?

In my role as a Radiography Apprentice, I have developed skills such as effective communication, adaptability, and the ability to work collaboratively in a high-pressure environment.