School of Radiology Staff Spotlight: Farrah Elsaghir

Lecturer, Farrah Elsaghir talks about her rewarding career as a Radiographer, working on the frontline for the NHS while balancing life as a busy mum of two and why she is proud to teach at AECC University College.

Getting started

My love of sport led me into Radiography. Being a member of the U20s GBR Women’s Sabre Fencing Team, plus swimming and lifesaving, and playing netball meant I was often a visitor to A&E, Radiology and Physiotherapy. A career in healthcare appealed to me; the fast pace, working with patients and being in a team.  I undertook one week’s work experience at Royal United Hospital, Bath and I then knew that Radiography was for me!

“After graduating in 2008 from the University of Portsmouth with a BSc (Hons) Diagnostic Radiography, I immediately began working as a Diagnostic Radiographer at Salisbury District Hospital undertaking this role until 2010 when I became a Trainee Sonographer.”

 Farrah Elsaghir - Radiographer

Above: Farrah Elsaghir working on the frontline for the NHS

Furthering her career

“In 2011 I became qualified in Obstetrics and Gynaecology and in 2012 obtained a PgDip Medical Ultrasound and became a full time Sonographer. Teaching students has always been enjoyable for me since starting in 2012 and continuing to date. Since 2013 I have been an external assessor and have examined and moderated many students from the AECC University College.

“I paused my studies to have two children but returned to AECC University College to complete my MSc Medical Ultrasound in 2017. Currently, I work as a Lecturer in the School of Radiology and as an Advanced Practitioner Sonographer at Royal United Hospital, Bath. This gives me the best of both worlds: teaching and patients.”

Career highlights

“One of my biggest achievements was obtaining my MSc Medical Ultrasound. Working as a Sonographer and having two young children aged four and two, I promised myself that I wouldn’t use the weekends to write and miss the time with the children. Hence most evenings were written out to study. It was a challenge, but I am now so glad that I did it!

“My dissertation was based on a professional issue regarding the use of chaperones within testicular ultrasound.  Shortly after graduating I designed a poster abstract relating to my research findings for the annual British Medical Ultrasound in 2017. My abstract was upgraded to an oral presentation which I presented and subsequently won best oral paper 2017.”

Working on the frontline

“Radiographers are classified as frontline staff. A Radiographer must use their knowledge and expertise to work with other members of the multidisciplinary team in a patient's journey to help decipher what condition or disease is causing a patient's symptoms.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has not changed this requirement and Radiology departments continue to remain open for patients and staff. Radiographers have been given current information regarding the potential risks that are now posed to patients and staff. Working conditions have been updated accordingly and we now adhere to a new working style ensuring that patients wellbeing and optimal image quality is at the forefront. During the pandemic I have continued to work as an Advanced Practitioner Sonographer.”

Proud to be at AECC University College

“I am a Lecturer in Ultrasound and Radiography in the School of Radiology. My areas of interest include obstetrics, gynaecology and interventional gynaecology, abdominal and testicular ultrasound. Recently I have been appointed as the MSc Medical Ultrasound Lead and am the Unit Lead for new modules including Professional Practice and Patient Care, Professional Practice and Clinical Confidence and Professional Practice and Wellbeing.

Having undertaken my MSc at AECC University College, it is very rewarding now being on the other side as a member of staff. All the staff have been so welcoming and kind and I was made to feel like a member of the team from day one. Support is given by the Head of the School of Radiology who has established an open culture where we can all share ideas freely. I have already had the opportunity to contribute to the existing academic programme and develop new units.

“The values of AECC University College are not only pivotal to the student experience but also to staff. Inclusion and diversity are paramount, and I feel that these factors are truly recognised by staff and students.”

Choosing a Radiology Career

“Research it, undertake some work experience and if you like it, go for it! Roles within imaging are continuously changing and advancing, and depending on skills and experience there are opportunities to work in various modalities. Although most Radiographers work within a hospital setting, opportunities exist to undertake further study and work in education, research and management.

“Being a Radiographer, there are daily challenges to overcome but it is a highly rewarding career.  Being a member of the Radiology department and team is fantastic, working with likeminded colleagues who all have the patient at the heart of their work.”

If you’re interested in a career in medical imaging, you can find out more about the courses AECC University College’s School of Radiology has to offer here.