"I positively enjoy coming to work..the balance of my life is great. I really enjoy my work, and then I leave and go home, and I have the energy and the mental capacity to focus on my life"

-  Alison King, European Specialist in Veterinary Diagnostic Imaging
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Diagnostic imagers Alison King and Una Kelly share why they're so glad they joined IVC Evidensia, and what they love about their work

Can you tell us about yourselves and how you came to work with IVC Evidensia?

Alison: I’m a Board-Certified Radiologist, and have been working in diagnostic imaging at Vets Now for about two years.

Una: I’ve been working in diagnostic imaging for 12 years. I used to work in Paris doing ultrasound and I had trained for CT but wasn’t currently able to do any, so I  moved here to be able to do both, and I really enjoy working in a team now rather than by myself.

What was it that attracted you to make the move into your current roles?

A: I spent many years in academia and felt I was getting pulled in many different directions. It was a lifestyle decision to prioritise my work/life balance. I was feeling burnt out so I started putting feelers out to see what other options were and someone actually recommended Vets Now to me. I approached them just to see what the options were and had a lovely conversation with them and then one thing led one thing to another and now I’m here.

U: So I was self-employed doing ultrasounds. I worked a lot, I would go to different vets to do the ultrasounds, and although it was nice to meet lots of different people it was frustrating not being part of a team and not always getting to follow up on cases. I was working weekends, working in the evenings at home. I was looking to move back to Scotland, and I found this job that looked tailored for me, so I applied! I'm really enjoying it. I've also got a much better work/life balance, working less and not in the evenings or the weekends anymore.

Could you tell us more about what it is that you do day-to-day, working in diagnostic imaging?

U: On a day-to-day basis we mainly do the ultrasounds, we give opinions on X-rays, CT and there's also quite a lot of training involved. There are lots of interns with us. I enjoy passing on knowledge and explaining things, it takes time to learn things, so it's good to help people get started, and see if they find this area interesting. Working in imaging you’re in contact with all the different services in the hospital: oncology, medicine, surgery, and ECC.

A: Careers in imaging depend on the specific hospital that you're working in and the type of caseload that comes through. Here, the focus of our work is mainly ultrasound because that involves hands-on examinations. We’re involved with CT and radiography but our priority at the moment is the ultrasound. We have the scope, as we build our numbers up, to get more involved with other modalities as well. I appreciate here that we are not expected to do everything, we are given very fair expectations and it’s clear what our priorities are, although there is scope for us to be able to get more involved in different aspects or to develop. We do quite a lot of interventional stuff in our work as well. So fine needle aspirates, cavity drainage guiding, sub-cut flushes etc. That's another quite significant part of the work.

My focus here is clinical, but there is the opportunity to teach. We've got rotating interns, we've had our own imaging intern, and there’s the option to be involved in formal CPD training and hands-on film reading. There's a lot of scope to do teaching if you're so inclined. There is also the scope to do research as well if you're interested. There's the potential to focus on what you're interested in, and the flexibility to do that.

What was it about working in diagnostic imaging that interested you specifically?

A: I have a background in veterinary anatomy. In my previous role I was involved in teaching veterinary anatomy. Imaging and anatomy go perfectly hand in hand, and there's something very aesthetically pleasing about lovely images, even if they're normal. There’s something beautiful about anatomy, and something beautiful about being able to image and visualise it. Imaging is also nice because you cross all of the different disciplines, so we see cases from across the hospital. The fun thing about imaging is being a bit of a detective and putting the pieces of the puzzle together, and working out the most likely scenario, or the best way forward. Each case is different and we're always seeing really interesting stuff. It's good to see the range of different cases and to be a detective, to work out what's going on.

U: I come from a completely different background. I was a general first opinion vet and then trained in imaging because I really like medicine and I felt I could go one step further. If you feel the dog and then take that further to be able to see the dog from the inside, it’s really satisfying. With imaging, you can take that additional step to discover what’s wrong. Very often, especially in medicine cases, it is really a key way to work out what's going on. It is very satisfying.

I think if you want to do diagnostic imaging you have to enjoy images. One of our interns turned to me and said ‘look that's so beautiful’ at an image we’d taken, and I felt that meant they were doing the right job!
The other thing with ultrasound is that you still have the patient in front of you. I think that's what's nice about working in a hospital, you’re actually seeing the patient in front of you and being part of that team working with that patient. You can see the oncologist that manages the case, and we might just do the scan, but we get the insight, and we see how the animals are doing. We still feel that we're vets actively participating in the animal’s care. If we find a foreign body and it goes off to surgery, we get feedback as to what it was. It’s nice to be part of things, to be working as part of a team.

What do you like most about your job?

A: The main thing for me has been work/life balance. I also don't feel I'm ever pressured to do anything I'm not comfortable with. It's a no-blame culture here, so we're encouraged and supported. Our leaders are proactive in managing things, so it's always a very positive environment. I feel everything is dealt with in a very positive way. I feel really supported and really valued. I’m very happy that I made the move to this role.

U: I only started in January so it's still quite fresh but I agree with everything Alison has said. It’s a very healthy environment for working and we are supported to do our jobs. Our vet nurses are responsible for organising our workload, which gives us space to focus on our part. Although we’re part of the IVC Evidensia network, we’re still locally managed as Vets Now which works very well.

What do you get up to outside of work?

A: I've got three kids, and now that I have a much better work/life balance I feel that I can actually spend time with the kids. They’re teenagers so they have lots of activities and it's a tonne of fun to be able to run them about the place and get involved with everything that they're doing.

I positively enjoy coming to work because it's manageable. I work three days a week, so the balance of my life is great. I really enjoy my work, and then I leave and go home, and I have the energy and the mental capacity to focus on my life. I can spend time doing the stuff with the kids and be a mum to them. I love being able to do all of this with them and having the time and but also energy to do it. It's wonderful.

U: I have two kids, they're a bit younger, so they take up all my free time! I lived in Paris before but we've now moved to the countryside and I am enjoying being near the Scottish hills, so we try and get out in the countryside for walks.

Opportunities in Diagnostic Imaging with IVC Evidensia

Veterinary Diagnostic Imaging Specialist - Blaise

As the opening date for our new purpose-built hospital approaches, we are delighted to now be accepting applications from experienced Veterinary Diagnostic Imaging Specialists and Radiologists, including advanced practitioners and residency trained.

We are open to discuss a flexible working pattern, with 2 days remote working, and 2 days on site.

Find out more & apply

We are delighted to now be accepting applications from Boarded Diplomates who are interested in leading our Diagnostic Imaging department.

Blaise Veterinary Referral Centre is a large-scale, multi-disciplinary referral hospital which encompasses the culture and high clinical standards IVC prides itself upon. Blaise will add to IVC's extensive referral network, which now consists of over 100 referral sites across the UK & Ireland. This is a unique opportunity to be a part of something special from the very beginning.

The hospital will be one of the largest in the UK at over 36,000 sq ft, with the capacity to treat up to 10,000 pets per year. From the site we will provide specialist led multi-discipline veterinary referrals and a 24-hour emergency care service for pet owners across the Midlands. 

Find out more & apply today


Veterinary Diagnostic Imaging Specialist - Blaise

Equine Vets have an exciting opportunity for an Equine Diagnostic Imaging Specialist to join their team.

We are looking for a specialist diagnostic Imager to read our MRIs and CT scan from all our equine hospitals.
This position can be home-based, with some occasional travel required for teaching our residents within our hospitals and running occasional CPD events. This is a permanent position, with both full-time and part-time hours available.

Find out more & apply today

A specialist or residency trained Radiologist is required to join our established team on either a full time four-day working week, or on a  part time basis.
Seeking a referral clinician who is ready for something exciting and new, with the passion and skills to care for patients, customers and colleagues alike and be an integral part of a truly multidisciplinary team.

FInd out more & apply today

Get in touch

If you are interested in finding out more about our exciting job opportunities, our talent team will be happy to talk in confidence about the options available to you.

Contact Talent Partner Ciaran Connolly: ciaran.connolly@ivcevidensia.com