Alan Burley, Superintendent Radiographer at Vista Health, has been a radiographer for 45 years and is leaving us to relocate back to his home county, Cornwall.

We caught up with Alan in an exclusive interview.

How long have you been a Radiographer?

I initially started Training in 1973, so it has now been 45 years. I first started working for InHealth when the company purchased Vista Health, around 8 years ago. All training was done in house in The Royal Cornwall Hospital. This was a 2-year course and at the time there was no Ultrasound, MRI or CT so all diagnostic imagery was via X-Ray and some emerging nuclear medicines. Over the years, I have worked on X-Rays, CT, Nuclear Medicine, Ultrasound, Domiciliary X-Rays and I settled on MRI Radiography in 2000.

What first interested you in Radiography?

School careers officer gave me the idea. I went to hospital for a couple of days to shadow the Radiographers and decided it was a job I was interested on pursuing. I decided on MRI as modality because it was the best opportunity for me in my career.  There are so many variations of sequences and ways of considering the body to get a more accurate diagnosis and pretty pictures. MRI also Involved more time sitting down which was more appealing to me at the time.

What attracted you to Vista initially?

Vista is an exciting company who specialist in scanning self-pay patients at sensible prices. I moved from working in a private hospital where MRI's were not as financially accessible for self-pay patients. The main Vista hub is the Diagnostic centre located at Waterloo, London. In 2013 we had a 3T scanner installed which was very exciting as it was one of the first available in London, and was also Vistas first 3T MRI. There is also currently renovation at Vista for the upgrade of our 1.5T scanner.

Tell us about a day in your life as a Radiographer.

Every day is different as we have such a variety of patients and cases attending the site for their diagnosis. We typically scan around 30 patients per day so every day I could meet new people from all over the World. 

What is your proudest achievement?

My proudest achievement was being the Superintendent Radiographer at Vista Health. Having the opportunity to lead and manage such a wonderful team was an achievement.

Can you describe the team at Vista Waterloo?

The team at Vista Health are fantastic, everybody is part of the family and well experienced to cope with any occurrences during the working day.  I am glad to have worked alongside them. Each Radiographer has a wide knowledge of MRI and extensive plenty MRI experience which we can share with one another. 

What is the most rewarding thing about being a Radiographer?

The most rewarding thing is working every day with such a great team and having the opportunity to help so many people to receive a diagnosis. Easily accessible MRI scans at affordable prices means people can be diagnosed a lot earlier.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to pursue a career as a Radiographer?

It is a fantastic job. Both of my sons are Radiographers. The one piece of advice I would give is never be afraid to ask any questions, you will never stop learning as it is still a growing science. 

What are your future plans?

I am leaving Vista Health due to a relocation back to my home county of Cornwall where I can spend more time fishing and cycling.

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