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Alyson has been with University Hospitals Bristol and Weston (UH Bristol and Weston) since June 2015 as a part-time medical secretary in the Upper GI team and in the Children’s Hospital in the Metabolic Medicine team. In 2016, she joined the Bank (a scheme set up to help fill staffing gaps during busy periods, and offer staff the opportunity to pick up extra shifts) for another part-time position which saw her working in in a selection of our hospitals that include; The Bristol Heart Institute, Trust Headquarters, Paediatric Surgery as well as The Bristol Haematology and Oncology Centre. Needless to say, when Alyson left these previous positions in January 2019 to join the Radiology department she was fruitful in experience, making her an excellent addition to the team.
We met with Alyson to discuss what she thinks of the Radiology department and the Trust, as well as any advice she might have for anyone thinking about moving to Bristol and joining University Hospitals Bristol and Weston.
What do you think initially attracted you to work in the Trust?
‘I was a legal secretary for over 25 years and my mother actually worked here when she retired from her post as a clerk in a law firm – the retirement age was 60 at that time but she didn’t want to stop working! She was here for another 10 years and retired at 70. My dad also worked here as a hotel services porter until he retired at 70. I worked at Southmead Hospital back in the ‘80s and remembered how much I enjoyed the patient contact then so when I had enough of law, I applied here. I think it was the gentler mind-set of helping people as well as environment that was part of the attraction. I also realised, having listened to my mum’s stories over the years, that working in a hospital was ‘very different’ from my initial experience. I am also fascinated by medicine and the body so that was another factor.’
You’ve had experience in a lot of departments since 2015, what do you think sets the Radiology department aside from the rest?
‘The camaraderie of the team – and it’s a big team – is great. There’s never a dull moment, and no two days are ever the same! Seven hours is a long time to spend in a department so it has to be right and this feels right.’
What do you enjoy most about working in the Trust? Has this changed from what initially attracted you to the Trust?
‘I enjoy working with people, helping (in whatever small way) to make them feel better. I should have been a nurse but was never clever enough!! It has changed over the years and now we are very much in a digital era. Life evolves!’
Do you have a top-tip for someone thinking of moving to/visiting the Bristol area?
‘Yes, be open minded about the visit/move, embrace fresh ideas and most of all enjoy the experience. Bristol has a lot of positive energy, places to visit, I love living in Bristol.’
And what would you say to someone thinking of a career in UHB and Radiology?
‘I would say be open to new ideas and changes, as they are all around us. Medicine has advanced further forward and, with the research available today, will continue to. If you fancy a new change/challenge – whatever your age, grab it with both hands as it could be really exciting and open up all sorts of new doors for you. Nothing ventured! At the end of the day, we just want to work together to help someone feel better and mend, after all it’s horrible being ill.’