The beginning of my Photography domain.
Having to provide both secondary and primary research for a job I am considering going into after University, I managed to arrange an interview/meeting with the Medical Photography department at the Coventry University Hospital.
In order to arrange this interview, I firstly contacted the Media Team at the Hospital that deal with all media enquiries. I did this via email, and got in contact with Sarah Conlon, who then referred to me to Jackie who is the person I needed to arrange the interview/meeting with the Medical Photography team. Both ladies were extremely helpful in my enquiry, with the responses of a few emails between myself and Sarah, I later heard from Jackie who set up a date and time in which I could come in to the Hospital. This date was the 4th of April at 11am.
So, prior this interview/meeting, I took it upon myself to conduct in some secondary research about the job at hand. (This is in a past post) Reason for doing this prior, was so that I had brief knowledge on the job and knew the type of questions I should ask with interviewing.
I kept my questions quite brief, as I planned to expand on them when interviewing.
1. Are there many jobs in Medical Photography?
2. What does the job entail on a daily basis?
3. How would someone qualify for the job, what steps would need to be taken?
4. Is there a way of working up, promotion?
5. Do you enjoy your job?
I got really great and useful responses to all my questions. I was originally meant to be having my interview/meeting with Martin Hewitt, but he was otherwise inclined so my interview was with the Senior Photographer himself, Nick Loveitt. I saw this to my advantage, as the job role he has would probably answer the questions I had more effectively. He firstly explained to me all the different areas that a clinical photographer can work in;
– opthalmic – this is where you photograph the back of the eyes, this then can determine and help diagnose diabetes.
– dermatology – this involves skin conditions, moles, rashes and other aspects.
– plastic surgery patients – before and after photographs to determine if the procedure went according to plan, this is also done with cancer patients.
– dental work – looking at the reconstruction of the jaw, for example if the patient had an overbite.
Everyday is different, as there are many different routes to the job at hand. Nick explained that every day is different as there are so many various jobs to get involved in.
– there is PR work, the organisation of charity events and visits
– Video and promotional work in clinical photography. Once or even twice a month they record a new technique, which is then developed all the time, implemented and then published.
– illustrations for journals and leaflets. These are used in waiting rooms within the hospital, and also in the form of posters and conferences.
We also talked about what qualifications I would need if I personally wanted to become a Medical Photographer which is what I was asking in question 3. Reasons for me asking this is because whilst conducting my secondary research prior to the interview, I read that certain qualifications where needed such as a degree in science, so for someone like me this job would be completely out of my reach. But I thought there might be ways in which I could possibly qualify.
In fact there is a way, one that I hadn’t come across. Nick explained that that wasn’t indeed the case. It is essential if I was to apply for a job in this post, I would need a degree in photography, to which I asked with myself doing a degree in Media Production would this suffice and it would being that it includes photography. It is then required for you to take a post graduate certificate in clinical photography, on a distant learning course. A big part of the job is the relationship you have with patients, you need to be able to put them at ease so good interpersonal skills is a must.
With reference to question 4, I wanted to get a grasp on if this was a job that you could get promotion within and work your way up. To get an idea as the whether it would be a good career path. Obviously you would start as a trainee, and view the different conditions, this is taken place in the first year. Then in the second year in the post, is where you would take the post graduate certificate in clinical photography. After this is completed, a few years are required in order to build up your experience on the job and with patients, you will then be qualified as a Medical Photographer.
The most important question I felt necessary to ask was if he himself enjoyed his job, to which he replied yes. In his response he said that every day brings new challenges, as you get to work in different departments and aren’t just secluded to one, so you meet a lot of people. It’s also not just limited in the photography side, as you also get to work in graphic design and videography.
I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to the hospital and my talk with Nick, the jobs seemed very interesting and thought provoking.
Also from my visit Nick (senior medical photographer) informed me of a job coming up at the Hospital itself. The job was as a trainer medical photographer, so they would work alongside Nick on a daily basis.
I plan to apply for this job, as I feel it is one that would lead to a good career.
Since the 4th of April, the job as a trainee medical photographer has opened. I began my application and finished it, sadly the day I was going to submit it through nhs jobs, the vacancy had closed. I was devastated, I had worked so hard on my application. I took my chances and rang a number of people at the hospital to see if anything could be done, as no closing date was stated on the application so I thought it was slightly unfair that it has closed with no warning. I spoke to the HR department and recruitment and they said nothing could be done.
I wasn’t giving up, so I took I my last resource and rang Nick Loveitt the Senior Photographer himself. He said there was not much he could do, and that it was such a shame I couldn’t get my application in. But, I said that would it be possible to bring in my application first hand, even at the slightest chance at it being looked at and he agreed. I managed to get my application to him at just gone 5pm as he said he finished at 5:30pm. He again stated that I shouldn’t get my hopes up as I didn’t apply in the correct way, but he also said that I had all the right criteria for he job. So I guess we’ll see what happens.