School of Medical Ultrasound Lecturer, Megan Lines

AECC University College Lecturer, Megan Lines is involved in the development and teaching of multiple Radiography and Ultrasound programmes within our School of Medical Ultrasound. She discusses her career as a Sonographer at Salisbury District Hospital where she is currently working on the front-line, supporting the NHS in the fight against Covid-19.

BSc in Diagnostic imaging, MSc Ultrasound Studies

Getting started

“I always knew that a career in Ultrasound was the main goal and to do this it was important that I studied a medical degree. Radiography seemed the ideal foundation for this as it’s within the medical imaging industry. I completed my degree in Diagnostic Imaging at Bristol UWE in 2010 - a three-year course where I qualified with a Radiography degree. From there, I was pleased to get a job at Salisbury District Hospital as a Radiographer, specialising in X-rays, working in A&E and with GPs.

“I worked as a Radiographer for a year after qualification gaining some great experience. Then in 2015 I came to AECC University college, as a student, to study Ultrasound. I was fortunate enough to be able to do quite a few modules within one year – I studied abdominal and superficial structures, gynaecology and all three trimesters of obstetric ultrasound. I qualified within seven months with 1st Class Honours and continued working at Salisbury Hospital as a Sonographer.”

Furthering her career

“Over the years, I then topped-up this qualification, for example, I completed a course on neonatal heads, which gave me the ability to scan a baby’s brain. I also started teaching at AECC and became more involved with the MSc course, working with the Head of Medical Ultrasound, Warren Foster to prepare presentations for students in my areas of expertise, such as obstetrics.

“Last year I also completed my Masters at AECC University College and graduated in November with a 1st Class MSc degree, which then led to a permanent role here. I now work two days at the University College and three days at the Salisbury hospital each week. In my role as a lecturer, I deliver all of the obstetrics lectures and some short courses, for example in gynaecology and I really enjoy the work that I do.”

Salisbury District Hospital

“I love working at Salisbury hospital. I knew that I wanted to work in a medical environment from a young age, I’d like to say I’m quite a caring person. I always wanted to help people and I really love how radiography is about diagnostics. You’re helping people to get the answer that they require. As a radiographer, you’re making a difference in helping people get better - you’re doing something positively to try and get diagnosis and a treatment. It’s also such an interesting career, there are no two patients the same and it’s so varied in its role.

“There’s always something new that you can learn. It’s not repetitive in healthcare, which makes it an exciting area of study. I’m currently working in interventional work, practicing breast ultrasound, which is an area I didn’t think I’d necessarily get the opportunity to progress into, but really enjoy. There’s always scope to do more and learn more within healthcare. There are many different avenues to pursue – you’re not in the same job for your whole career, there’s always something more you can learn if you want to.”

Research

“I completed my Masters research last year and am hoping to have a paper published over the coming months. My research looked at early pregnancy ultrasound and at what gestation we scan women at, as a lot of symptoms in early pregnancy require a scan to say whether the pregnancy is ongoing or ectopic, for example. In current research there are no clear guidelines as to what gestation we should be scanning these ladies at, should we be scanning at six weeks or earlier? So, I’ve conducted an audit on the best time to scan in early pregnancy for a timely diagnosis, but also ensuring we don’t get involved with medical intervention too early in some cases. The results of this should be published soon.”

AECC University College

“I really enjoy working for the ultrasound department at AECC University College. The head of faculty is really keen for us to be as current as possible, always looking for ways for the School of Medical Ultrasound to be in-keeping with current medical practice and be at the forefront of pioneering research. This year NHS England released a new scanning protocol for Obstetrics that advises Sonographers to be practicing in uterine artery dopplers. This currently isn’t routine practice and we are aware that many sonographers will need to learn more and further their skills in this area, so we are looking to soon run a CPD course that will teach Sonographers how to use and interpret this method. The University College is all about being reactive to industry changes and continuing to progress in both knowledge and expertise. Both Staff and students are really well supported.”

Find out more about a career in Medical Ultrasound here