Interview with Sarah Nicholson - Imaging and Cardiology Manager

Sarah Nicholson

Imaging and Cardiology Manager,
BMI The Park Hospital

Making a difference to the patient care in the hospital is the most important part of my role.

Can you tell us a little about yourself, background and current role?

Originally from the North East, I moved to Nottingham to train as a radiographer over 30 years ago. 

I qualified in 1987 and initially worked at Nottingham City Hospital as a general radiographer until an opportunity arose to concentrate on MRI within a private centre on the City Hospital campus.

I became manager of the unit in 1997 and helped to develop the service until moving to the Park Hospital in 2005. 

My current role as Imaging and Cardiology Manager is a very diverse and varied role and I still work clinically covering weekend and on call duties as part of the imaging team.

I am also a member of the Corporate Imaging Steering Group, working on best practice and support for other Imaging Managers.  

I am a mum to two beautiful teenage daughters who keep me busy out of work and I still have strong ties with the North East where I still have close family and friends.

Describe a typical day/week at BMI The Park Hospital for you?

I don’t think there is such a thing as a typical day or week. My role incorporates so many aspects that a planned day can change in a moment with an unexpected patient or technical issue.

On arrival I will check staffing and what is expected through the department in that day. All heads of department attend a daily communication meeting to share information relating to the day, so I will report back anything my team need to be aware of. 

I pride myself in knowing that my team care about the service they give and how we look after our patients.

I work closely with my team leader to ensure the day is planned as much as possible.

If I am able to spend a day in my office, then I work on radiation protection issues, recruitment, future planning and service improvements. I am always on hand to help out clinically if staffing issues arise or an unexpected patient arrives.

What aspects of your role do you enjoy the most?

Making a difference to the patient care in the hospital is the most important part of my role. Being involved clinically as well as affecting how they are treated by my team, I hope I lead by example supporting other departments to ensure the treatment patients receive in imaging is as good as we can do.

We get to know our patients really well as they return for follow up scans and we become involved in their journey. Although this can sometimes be very sad, it is also rewarding as we know we really can make a difference to someone’s experience.

Motivating staff to give the best patient care is massively important to me.

How does your role benefit the patients at The Park Hospital?

The imaging department at the Park Hospital is a crucial part of any patient journey. 

Whether it is a quick one stop visit and the results are quickly sent to the referrer, or a complex oncology pathway that requires several scans and potentially interventional procedures, we are instrumental in ensuring an efficient service to enable the patient to pass through the system as easily and stress free as possible.

I pride myself in knowing that my team care about the service they give and how we look after our patients. Improving the quality of our imaging equipment and motivating staff to give the best patient care is massively important to me.

What has been your biggest achievement at The Park Hospital?

My biggest achievement has been being involved in several equipment replacement projects and being trusted with big capital investments. The biggest has to be the very recent replacement of the cardiac catheter lab.

Although it was a stressful and demanding project, it will hopefully transform how we deliver complex interventional procedures at the Park and represents a huge opportunity for staff to improve their skills and deliver only the very best patient care.

Sarah

What activities do you enjoy outside of work?

As a busy, working mum I love spending time with my daughters, family and friends. I love live music and regularly attend concerts. I run as much as I can and in April I ran the London Marathon. 

This had been a life long goal and was one of the best days of my life. It was a very personal achievement as I ran for the pancreatic cancer research fund.

My father died of this horrible disease 4 years ago, the anniversary of which was actually the day I ran the marathon so it was a very emotional day but the proudest moment of my life and I managed to raise over £3,000 for the charity.

I also volunteer at a yoga retreat in the Yorkshire dales, helping in the kitchen. It is a beautiful calm place that helps me de-stress and relax from my busy day job; and although it’s hard work, it is great to do something so different from my 9-5!

Thanks for your time, Sarah.


BMI The Park Hospital's diagnostic imaging department provides a wide range of services including, MRI scanning, CT scanning and a new cardiac catheter laboratory. Find out more about the diagnostic imaging department here