Advanced Practitioners in the spotlight

This week across CTM we are marking Advanced Practitioners Week by celebrating the role of Advanced Practitioner in our Health Board.

Advanced clinical practitioners (ACPs) are healthcare professionals, educated to Master’s level, with the skills and knowledge to allow them to expand their scope of practice to meet the needs of the people they care for. 

ACPs are deployed across CTM and work at a level of advanced clinical practice including in clinical practice, leadership and management, education and research.

Today we meet Helen Yule a Consultant Radiographer who specialises in breast imaging. 

Talking about being an Advanced Practitioner Helen said: “I have a dual role for both the breast screening service for Breast Test Wales and the symptomatic breast service at, Royal Glamorgan Hospital which provides consistency in the patient pathway from diagnosis to treatment and ongoing surveillance.  The role of the consultant radiographer is variable across the radiology domain but the common thread is that they work to innovate, motivate and influence local, national and international agendas.

“Fulfilling the role of expert clinical practice is imperative and integral to the profession of radiography at consultant level. I have acquired my skills and qualifications (MSc in medical imaging – breast evaluation) through the extended role pathway of advanced practice to consultant practitioner level.   

“I report in excess of 10,000 mammograms per annum and am able to perform clinical breast examination and to assess the need for additional breast imaging.  Advancing technology in breast imaging has also introduced contrast-enhanced mammography, a further diagnostic tool in the breast cancer diagnostic pathway and Royal Glamorgan Hospital is one of only two sites in Wales to utilise this technology.

“Clinical practice for me occupies 50% or so of my working week. Outside of this, I am a core member of national policy forming organisations and forums that encompass the review of diagnostic and treatment pathways and best practice that include those outside of radiography. 

“I am a member of College of Radiographers Consultant advisory group which issues guidance for the education, training and development of future consultant radiographers.  To be actively involved at this level is a fundamental aspect of my role to influence educational pathways in order to standardise this process nationally and to raise the profile of role extension within radiography in general.

“To be involved with the evaluation of new technologies and the prospect of the role that Artificial intelligence could impact upon the breast screening programme is an aspect that I am also involved in.  

“My extended role has provided me with an opportunity to have a measurable and positive impact upon patient diagnostic and treatment pathways.  I feel that it is a privilege in many ways to be able to practice this level of autonomy and to encourage those who wish to expand their knowledge and practice to do so.”

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Team @ AberdareOnline

Team @ AberdareOnline

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