Radiographers take their work to the athlete's village

Tuesday 21 August 2012

Radiologists who volunteered at the Olympic polyclinic - Dan (left) and Lyndall (right)

Lyndall Blakeway and Daniel Hodson, two senior radiographers based at Guy's Hospital, volunteered as part of the team at the Olympic polyclinic in the athlete’s village next to the Olympic Park.

The four-storey polyclinic, which will remain as a permanent health centre after the 2012 Games, currently caters for athletes and members of the Games Family (eg official journalists, volunteers), seeing up to 600 patients a day during the Games.

“During the Olympic Games we mostly saw athletes,” said Lyndall. “It’s very different from the day job because we were seeing injuries on the day they happened rather than weeks down the line.”

Services available at the polyclinic include A&E, pharmacy, primary care, sports medicine and therapy, physiotherapy, dental, podiatry, optometry and of course radiology, all under one roof. Within radiology, the team had access to a CT scanner, two MRI scanners, a plain x-ray room and two ultrasound machines – a comprehensive suite of facilities.

Dan provided an x-ray and CT imaging service for the polyclinic, while Lyndall worked in MRI.

“Patients came in with pulled muscles, and injuries in the neck, spine, ankles and knees” added Lyndall. “For a handful of cases, we saw competitors after they’d won medals in their events – by which time they didn’t really care how much things hurt! In MRI we saw roughly 45-50 patients most days, so we were definitely kept on our toes.”

The pair only discovered they were both working in the Polyclinic when they bumped into each other on one of their three training days. Both signed up to volunteer over 18 months ago. “When you sign up as a volunteer you have to say what skills you have,” said Dan. “So they thought our radiology skills would come in handy in the polyclinic.”

“We were thrilled to have been chosen, and pleased to discover we had an ally at the Games!” added Lyndall. “It was the best way I could have used up my annual leave! A wonderful opportunity - not to be missed. I would definitely encourage anyone else to think about getting involved if they ever get the chance to do something similar in the future.”

Dan said: “I couldn’t have asked for more. It’s been an amazing experience, and I’ve learnt loads along the way. It was special meeting the athletes one day and then seeing them compete the next. It was a great feeling to know that your part of their treatment helped them to compete and win a medal for their country."

Last updated: August 2012

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