blog posted 21 July, 2020

Blog: A day in the life of… an Advanced Practitioner

Blog: A day in the life of… an Advanced Practitioner

A day in the life of… Advanced Practitioner radiographer

My name is Clare Keevil and I work as an Advanced Practitioner radiographer. I started my training in 1978 at Guy’s Hospital in London where I worked for two years before moving to Manchester, employed by Wythenshawe Hospital as a radiographer.

22 years and three children later, I wanted a new challenge and I felt that a career in breast radiography would be suited to my personality.

I began work at the Nightingale Centre, then based at Withington Hospital, in 1996. Relocation to a new purpose built unit at Wythenshawe Hospital in 2007 saw me back where I had begun my northern life.

After 13 years of mammography, I felt I needed an additional challenge.  I became an Advanced Practitioner in 2010 which has proved to be interesting and at times very challenging. I mainly cover interventional work which involves performing breast biopsies under X- ray control and reading the breast screening images obtained in the community.

My ‘film reading’ day starts in the dark early in the morning. We usually have 7 sites screening approximately 50-60 women per day which are read daily. There will be one or two radiologists that will be reading the images too. We read ‘blind’ so are unable to see which images have been judged abnormal. Once all of the images have been read, we have a consensus meeting to discuss which clients need to be recalled for assessment. The paperwork has to be completed meticulously to ensure no mistakes.

When I am performing interventional work, the day usually starts with Magseed or wire insertions prior to surgery for non-palpable lesions. The morning usually has biopsies booked from the symptomatic service and the afternoon is taken up with two or three biopsies from the screening assessment clinic.

I attend Multidisciplinary Team meetings and participate in audit. I have presented posters and published in a Radiology journal.

I really enjoy the patient interaction. I need to have excellent communication skills as the patients attending for biopsies are usually very anxious. Often the patient has many questions and worries that need answering. I need to have the knowledge to help, but know when to ask for help if anything is beyond my knowledge or capabilities. It is important to obtain their trust by being confident and professional whilst being very caring and understanding. Many of the lesions are very difficult to identify, making it quite a task to perform the biopsy whilst supporting the lady emotionally and performing the biopsy both quickly and efficiently.