One day I will become a radiographer, and then maybe another day I will become qualified in MRI or CT imaging. My partner is not the biggest fan of using the windows to display pictures of bones of people she doesn’t know, but for the most part she puts up with them because they remind me that the light at the end of the tunnel is a degree, a job and being able to do something I love every day.
I took these radiographs during my very first clinical placement in 2010. My favourite is the smaller one on the left window, an AP PEG open-mouth image. At the time, these images were a source of pride, a reminder that I could do just as well as anyone else who was doing the same course as me. A reminder that I had achieved just as much, if not more then those students who had a comfy bed to sleep in, financial and emotional support and enough food during these five weeks of unpaid placement. I slept on the floor of a friends place for the 5 weeks and ate rice for every meal, but I did well enough in my placement for me to feel proud of myself.
At the end of 2011, Pinnacle came into my life when I was working 6 days a week, although often for 14 days or more in a row. It took me a year to recover financially from the placement, and Pinnacle entered my life at a time when I was about to give up on my education, and focus on just being able to afford the rent and food in the same week.
I was teetering on the edge of living my greatest fear - that I will just ‘get by’ in life. That I will end up ‘just’ waitressing everyday for the rest of my life, ‘just’ making rent, ‘just’ making it. That I will plod through life, doing something that disintegrates my enthusiasm, kills my brain cells, and refuses to allow me the opportunity to hope and dream of bigger and better things.
Pinnacle has seemingly scooped me up from the floor, dusted me off, handed me some hope and given me a gentle shove back in the right direction. They have patched up some holes where my self-esteem obviously fell out, and are doing their damnedest to make sure that my potential stays firmly in my pocket, and doesn’t self-destruct in a moment of panic. Pinnacle has given me gifts that most students take for granted; encouragement, support, confidence, hope, financial stability and the ability to believe in myself.
By Ashleigh Scriven
By Ashleigh Scriven