Having attended training last December in order to equip me with the necessary knowledge to become one, I am now a fully-fledged student assessor, having carried out 3 student assessments to date!
In July I will have been qualified 5 years, but pretty much everyday I come out with “every day’s a school day” at some point! Becoming a student assessor was something I was asked to do after being qualified about 18 months or so, but declined the opportunity as I didn’t feel I had enough experience. The thought of being responsible for assessing other students when I still felt like one myself, to be quite honest scared the hell out of me! As it happened, I then decided to pursue the academic side of things and enrolled on a postgrad course which lasted a couple of years, so pretty much all my attention and efforts were focussed on carrying out my studies.
I completed my postgraduate diploma in healthcare, ethics and law from the University of Manchester in the summer of 2016 and so when the opportunity arose again to become a student assessor I felt it was probably about time I took the plunge! The course was really interesting, covering areas such as equality & diversity, the structure of the assessments and the importance of good quality feedback.
Becoming a student assessor has also brought to my attention how much knowledge, learned during the 3 years of my degree, has now either been erased from my memory or just become buried underneath the general niff naff and trivia of daily life. So, as well as having to read learn and inwardly digest (as a former schoolmaster of mine used to say) the content of the student assessments, I find myself having to get reacquainted with some of the basics of radiography, from centering points to exposure factors and many things in-between! It’s amazing how much you just take for granted once you’ve qualified, a bit like passing your driving test. However, also like passing your driving test, that is when your start to learn. Qualifying, and getting the bit of paper that says you are now able to irradiate people is just the start of an ongoing process, which we refer to as CPD or continuing professional development. If i’m honest, like a number of my friends and colleagues, I do CPD all the time, but not in the formal way required for HCPC purposes. I guess *I* tend to think of CPD as doing things to enhance my radiographic knowledge as well as keeping up-to-date with the latest techniques/equipment etc. What I am finding, having become a student assessor, is that CPD *should* also include giving regular attention to the basics, not just learning new facts, but re-visiting the knowledge base I was given during the course of my degree.
OK, so i’ve only completed 3 student assessments to date, and am a newbie to the whole process, but it really has been an eye-opener. Not only am I having to go back to my textbooks in some cases, but I’m also having to get used to the huge responsibility of ensuring that the current intake of students are learning what they need to in order to go on and to become the qualified radiographers of the future.
No pressure then!
P.S. To all you students out there, spare a thought for your assessor in future, as like me, they may be new to the process and just as nervous as you are!