Jane Prady, from West Linton in the Scottish Borders, studied MSc Mammography part-time at QMU and graduated in 2017. Jane is married with two children and originally qualified as a Diagnostic Radiographer from the former Queen Margaret College in 1998.
Before arriving at QMU, Jane had already gained several years’ experience working in Edinburgh Royal Infirmary and Princess Margaret Rose Orthopaedic Hospital, covering accident and emergency, cardio vascular imaging and computerised tomography.
Jane, how did you combine study, work and family life?
“Ten years after qualifying as a Diagnostic Radiographer, my daughter arrived and although I could work part-time, childcare for shifts became difficult. In 2008, I started work on a part-time basis, with no shifts, at the South East of Scotland Breast Screening Service at band 6 and began the postgraduate certificate in mammography at QMU.
“In 2009, I had my son, but I enjoyed studying so much I wanted to do more. In 2011, I completed a research module, as well as modules in leadership in healthcare and managing change in healthcare in 2012. In 2013, I started the x-ray guided breast biopsy module and became an advanced practitioner at band 7. I had a real passion and aptitude for performing x-ray guided breast biopsies.
“In 2014, I took on a Principal Radiographer post, also band 7, which involved deputising for the radiology manager, managing annual leave, rotas and servicing. In 2016, I completed my master’s dissertation.
“Discussion with my management team at work about career progression made it clear to me that I wanted to remain in a clinical role but advance if possible to consultant radiographer. In 2016, I completed an image interpretation module.
“When I joined the team at the breast screening service, I didn’t think I would continue studying beyond the postgraduate certificate. However, I enjoyed learning and enjoyed being challenged, so I kept going!
“Some of the studying was self-funded and paid monthly, so it was manageable. The rest was supported by the Breast Screening Service. The team at the Breast screening service are so generous with support, encouragement and advice.”
What is your top tip for future students?
“The hardest part was the dissertation, purely because of the volume of work required and the time that takes. Juggling work, raising the children and studying was hard at times. It’s important to be really organised and focused. I found it immensely helpful having a mentor assigned for the dissertation who guided and challenged me. I also had help from the subject librarian at QMU, which was invaluable.
“Most importantly was the support from my husband, Jamie, who did the chores and ran the kids around while I studied. I talked with my kids about what I was studying and believe that they have been positively influenced by seeing me learning.”
What have you been doing since graduating from QMU?
“At present I’ve stepped down from the Principal Radiographers role to concentrate on training in ultrasound. Once I’ve completed this course, I hope to apply for a trainee Consultant Radiographer post.
“In my home life I also volunteer for the Scottish Ambulance Service as a Community First Responder and I’m involved with my local community centre stage craft team, decorating the sports hall for events and enjoy mountain biking and skiing.”
"I found it immensely helpful having a mentor assigned for the dissertation who guided and challenged me. I also had help from the subject librarian at QMU, which was invaluable."
[story published in 2018]