Niamh ClearyMR Clinical Application Specialist

Niamh Cleary

MR Application Specialists are responsible for setting up new Siemens Healthineers scanners for customers whilst minimising downtime. I need to be able to deliver training of MR techniques and advanced new software to customers - demonstrating the ways they can use it appropriately and cascade this down to their employees. It is important that I can help customers troubleshoot any issues they might encounter, with the end result being to have the customer scanning optimised protocols to ensure high throughput and high-quality images.

After completing my Msc in Magnetic Resonance Imaging, I felt I had learned a lot and was passing this information on to my colleagues on a continuous basis. I also liked learning about the new techniques available that helped scan patients faster or with better image quality. Combining both of these two passions of mine and the opportunity to have a change in my working pattern led me to look outside of scanning patients and into the role of a Clinical Application Specialist. I would often speak to the Clinical Application Specialists when they came to visit to get an insight into the role and it really appealed to me.

My working day can vary between two main patterns:

1. If I am on the helpdesk, I am working from home with my laptop and computer. My day is more relaxed with no travel needed. I continuously monitor new emails to help sites with any problems they have and oversee the diary to book customers’ training sessions. I create training plans with the customer to ensure the appropriate dates suit them and get to know exactly what they want out of the training. This is an important step as it will help ensure the training is productive from day one. I also use this time to do online training as part of my working day to ensure I keep up to date on new applications and training.

2. If I am on-site training a customer, my day usually starts at nine AM, however, I could be in any part of Great Britain or Ireland so I would have my start time vary depending on where I am travelling to. This could be a new install where the customer needs a lot more information about the scanner and the coils or it may be a short training day on a new software package they have purchased, or troubleshooting issues, or poor image quality. If I am on-site for a week, there is a training plan in place and patients booked accordingly. We work through this as best as possible to ensure the end outcome is a scanner with improved image quality and the customer knowing how to adapt parameters and set up protocols as and when needed.

I enjoy going to a blank canvas scanner with the customer and creating protocols and high-resolution images together. At the end of the week, seeing them set up their own protocols with no help from me is the most rewarding part of my job as I can see that I have done what I came to do.

I would encourage anyone who likes to teach other people and enjoys setting up protocols and troubleshooting to become a Clinical Application Specialist. You have the opportunity to see Great Britain and Ireland with this job, which is definitely a bonus for me as I like travelling.