Coming full circle – from learning to lecturing

Coming full circle – from learning to lecturing  name

Kimberley Bradshaw, Diagnostic Radiography, class of 2012 

Kimberley graduated in 2012 from the BSc (Hons) Diagnostic Radiography course based in Lancaster. A decade later we caught up with her to find out that she is back on campus… after recently fulfilling one of her biggest ambitions! 

Why did you choose to study with us? 

I wanted to study Diagnostic Radiography, which the University of Cumbria has a long history of teaching. I fell in love with the ‘home from home’ feel to the Lancaster campus.  I am from Preston, and although I wanted to move away to study, I didn’t want to be a million miles away either. Being so close to home also meant that I could keep my part time job, which helped supplement my income whilst I was studying. 

Do you remember any tutors? Did you have any favourites, if so, what made them special? 

All of the radiography team were incredibly supportive, and their knowledge was and continues to be first class. I never imagined I would be privileged enough to join the team as an academic one day. 

Who were your friends, have you stayed in touch? 

I met three of my best friends (Carla, Emma and Katie) at university. We lived together in Waddell South Halls of Residence, and all studied radiography together too. Three of us trained at Royal Preston Hospital together. We are still very close. Although we are all radiographers, our careers have varied and we all do something completely different from one another. We are all so busy with work and our own lives, but we speak every week and we regularly get together just us four. Myself and Carla have children now, and it’s so nice to get together with our partners in a big group. 

Kimberley Bradshaw2,

What did you do in your spare time as a student? 

You don’t get much spare time as a radiography student, and it was the same all those years ago for me! It’s a very intense course, so if I wasn’t at university, chances are I was at placement! Although we were all working hard, we always used to head to old social bar (which has since closed down) to do the Sunday night quiz and eat some of their infamous curly fries! 

Can you remember any student traditions, did you take part in them? 

Our entire cohort was a close group, and every year we would have our radiography Christmas meal. We would even invite the staff along. It was always a really nice get together and a fun way to celebrate the end of the year. 

What is your fondest memory of your time as a student? 

I have lots of fond memories, but in particular being on placement is one of the fondest I have. It was myself and nine other girls that were based at Royal Preston Hospital. Our clinical tutor was lovely, she was crazy, but had a heart of gold. We used to have so much fun together on placement, and although we were working and studying hard, it was also a very carefree time too. 

Current Employer: University of Cumbria 

Job Title: Lecturer in Medical Imaging Sciences 

Briefly explain what your job entails 

I teach on the undergraduate Diagnostic Radiography degree programme.  I mainly teach the practical skills labs sessions to the first year cohort. I am also assisting with the clinical organisation aspect of the course, ensuring that students are ready for their placements. I also teach on our Assistant Practitioner programme. 

What is the most satisfying aspect of your job? 

Definitely passing on all the knowledge and skills I have acquired in the ten years since I qualified as a radiographer, to my students. Knowing that I am contributing to the education of the future generation of radiographers is really amazing. 

What were your career ambitions when you started studying and do you think that you have achieved them? 

When I was a student, I always thought that I would eventually like to specialise in ultrasound. I chose ultrasound for my elective placements and even wrote my undergraduate dissertation on ultrasound too. However, as a clinical radiographer, I found my true passion in mammography. I studied my PgC in Mammography Practice at the University of Salford, and qualified in 2016. It was the aspect of my role that I enjoyed the most, and something that I am now privileged to teach. I hope that my passion for the topic, might even inspire some of my students to follow suit in their careers. 

Teaching was always something I have wanted to work towards. I have always enjoyed working with students clinically. During the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, I found myself shielding at home due to being heavily pregnant. I was drafted into the Covid research team for the trust I was based at, at the time. I collected and collated data for the RECOVERY Trial, which was later successful in proving the positive effects of the drug Dexamethasone in poorly, covid positive patients. Being part of this amazing research, cemented the idea for me that I would love to make the move into academia. 

I have definitely achieved the ambitions I have set out for myself. From studying at postgraduate level, to moving into academia. 

How did going to university influence your life? 

My Nanna was always my biggest cheerleader during my education. She always told me that hard work was only hard temporarily and that it would all pay off in the end. I still use that motto today. Going to University was tough, and although I had always achieved good grades, I found myself struggling at university. Studying at university level did not come naturally to me aged eighteen, and I had to work harder than most to get through. That ethos of working hard has definitely stuck with me, and I have my time at university to thank for that. Not only did I meet some of the best people, make the best memories and have an amazing time, I earned myself a fantastic and rewarding career which I am incredibly proud of. 

What are you most proud of? 

I am extremely proud of my 10-year career in the NHS. However, finding myself back at the university, as part of the teaching team is one of my greatest achievements! It has been a dream for such a long time, and to have actually made it happen is something I am incredibly proud of. 

What are your ambitions for the future? 

I am three months into my new post at the university, and I am loving it. I really hope this is just the start of my academic career. I hope to be educating the next generation of radiographers for years to come! 

Do you have any advice or words of wisdom for students and graduates today? 

Anything is possible, as long as you have the passion, the drive and the ambition to achieve it. The World is most definitely your oyster! 


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