Ismat Khan BBC video screenshot

Preston student radiographer featured on national news

A student radiographer who returned to placement to support the NHS during the coronavirus pandemic has had her video diary account featured on national news.

Ismat Khan, a 19 year old radiography student from Preston, returned to placement at the Royal Preston Hospital in June to care for patients exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19.

40,000 student healthcare workers including students nurses, midwives, paramedics, radiographers and more signed up to go back and many of them have gone onto the front line of healthcare for the first time.

Students chose whether or not to volunteer to go back on placement and some were not able to because they were shielding themselves or their loved ones.

The choice to return was a difficult one for Ismat as her parents had grave reservations but she was able to convince them that it was a cause she wanted to take on and she wanted to make a difference.

In a video piece, that featured on BBC national news and online today, Ismat is seen in the radiography suite demonstrating the equipment and performing a mask-fit test which checks the validity of PPE.

In the video Ismat explains that a lot of her work has been chest and abdomen x-rays checking for signs and effects of COVID.

She said: “The other day, I got fit-tested which was pretty interesting and also scary as you get a mask put on and they almost put like a beekeeper mask on top and spray this kind of bitter spray.”

She goes on to describe how it felt wearing PPE all day: “I was in theatre and I had my FFP3 mask, I had a visor, a lead gown and had gloves on. It got really hot and really sweaty, especially with the lead gown, my back was sore within half an hour. It was painful but you don’t really notice it until after you take them off.”

Speaking about COVID she said; “When you experience COVID and you see patients suffering with it, that’s when it hits you. Obviously I was scared and my parents were both really, really scared. But when I spoke to them, they came round and really understood that I was passionate about it and this was something I really, really wanted to take on.”

Ismat’s video diary appeared alongside three other student healthcare workers, two student nurses and a dietitian from across the country who all recounted their experiences of returning to placement.  

All the students featured have secured places on the Council of Deans for Health UK Student Leadership programme, which coaches and develops the healthcare leaders of the future.

There are plans in the pipeline to follow up with the students in a longer documentary at a later date. 

Notes to editors

Link to BBC Online video:

Screen shot taken from BBC online piece

Photograph of Ismat in the radiography suite.