Her own diagnosis inspired Zoe Gibbs to want to become a radiographer and treat people as part of an allied health team.
Zoe Gibbs always had an interest in STEM – but her passion was really sparked in Year 9, when she was diagnosed with scoliosis. At the time, she had to go to lots of medical appointments, which included getting X-rays.
“I was very fortunate to have a radiographer who was kind enough to really explain how everything worked as I was very curious, and this immediately switched me onto STEM,” Zoe says.
Today, 13 of her vertebrae are fused with titanium rods and screws. “I’m basically a bionic woman!” she jokes.
Zoe’s almost completed her Bachelor of Medical Imaging at QUT. After graduating, she’ll become a radiographer and help other patients who need X-rays, computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans.
At uni, she takes tutorials with real-world professionals and does practical sessions at the Medical Imaging Laboratory at Gardens Point campus. She’s also completed several placements at different sites, which have all been super interesting. Her next is at the Queensland Children’s Hospital.
“The incredible variety of people and injuries you have the opportunity to interact with is so enjoyable, and I love thinking on my feet,” Zoe says.
One of her most memorable moments at uni was an MRI tutorial. “We got to play around with paperclips and baking trays in the MRI scanner at HIRF (Herston Imaging Research Facility), which was both fun and informative, as it really showed us how important MRI safety is,” she says. “You wouldn’t believe how fast those paperclips fly away from you!”
Zoe’s dream is to work in the Queensland public healthcare system.
“The kinds of trauma and injury that present to public hospitals are very interesting to me, as are the people attached to these injuries and the stories they have to tell,” she says. “I want to be there for people on what is likely the worst day of their life, and not just help them clinically, but also help them to feel better emotionally.”
Zoe’s STEM study path
- Year 12, Clayfield College
- Bachelor Medical Imaging (Honours), QUT
Author: Gemma Conroy
Gemma is a freelance journalist with a passion for making science accessible to everyone. Gemma has a degree in biology from Macquarie University and loves sharing amazing discoveries with the world.