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Holiday healthcare heroes: Turkey carving injuries seen on Christmas Day hospital shift

Specialist radiographer Jeff Chung at the the QEH. Photo: QEH

Specialist radiographer Jeff Chung at the the QEH. Photo: QEH

QEH

Throughout advent, we’re highlighting those who work hard throughout the year - and at Christmas - to keep Norfolk and Waveney’s health service ticking over.

This countdown of those we count on will focus on a different person or individual every day up until Christmas, celebrating our healthcare heroes.

Queen Elizabeth Hospital, King’s Lynn, radiology team

While many of us may be settling down to a snooze after Christmas lunch, the hard-working radiographers at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn will be braced for a busy afternoon and evening ahead.

From serious injuries sustained in car crashes to patients coming in with chest pain, specialist radiographer Jeff Chung has seen it all while covering Christmas Day shifts during his 12-year career.

Jeff said: “Healthcare does not stop because it’s Christmas. Sickness and illness does not take a Christmas holiday and we know that there will always be patients.

“Although many people would rather not work Christmas, we know that there will always be patients who need our help.

“I am also sure that the patients would prefer not to be in hospital over Christmas so our duty is provide the best possible healthcare.”

Jeff and his colleagues will be working 12-hour shifts over Christmas completing x-rays and CT scans to help diagnose patients’ conditions and injuries.

Over the last two years, the QEH’s radiology department has been boosted with two new state-of-the-art CT Scanners and a refurbishment of three digital X-Ray Rooms complete with new imaging equipment.

This new equipment is expected to be well-used during the festive period.

Jeff said: “We do get unfortunate household festive injuries where someone has hurt themselves while carving the turkey or they are rushing around in excitement and tripped over the dog.

“There was one Christmas when there was a lot of ice and snow around and we had a lot of people slipping and hurting their ankles and wrists. There were a lot of fractures that year.

“We usually get a lot busier in the afternoon and evening after people have eaten. We have patients coming through A&E with chest pains so we don’t know if they are having a cardiac event or indigestion. The symptoms for both can be similar so we always encourage people to be checked out if they have any concerns.”

Jeff, who was attracted to a career in radiography due to the technology and challenges presented, has a varied role. He conducts diagnostic imaging in different areas, including surgical theatres, and is also an advanced practitioner in reporting diagnostic X-Rays along with teaching.

He said: “Public awareness of radiographers is not as good as other health or medical professions. If you write a letter of appreciation over the festive period please remember the radiographers who helped you during your scan or x-ray.

“Christmas does tend to be quite a jolly shift. I think everyone is quite relaxed and happy. We have a happy atmosphere.”

• Team QEH is looking for radiographers to join the department. If you are interested contact adele.abbott@qehkl.nhs.uk

• To read about other holiday health heroes, click on a door on the advent calendar above.

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