#MyBSE | Sarah Ritzmann

Ms Sarah Ritzmann, Cardiac Physiologist and Clinical Scientist at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust gives us an insight into the work of the British Society of Echocardiography’s Council and the benefits of getting involved.

Hi BSE members!

I just wanted to take two minutes to share with you all my experience of being co-opted onto the BSE Council this last year and how interesting, rewarding and challenging I’ve found it.

Just for background, I am a Cardiac Physiologist and Clinical Scientist at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and have worked in echo for around 15 years. I became involved in the BSE Departmental Accreditation (DA) Committee after our department was accredited. I now lead on this and Co-Chair the BSE Clinical Standards Committee and as part of this role was invited to sit on council as a Co-opted member (this means I attend all meetings but as a non-elected member I don’t have voting rights for key decisions). My initial involvement in DA was motivated by wanting to do something a little different in my role and also by my passion for quality improvement. I personally get loads out of seeing and hearing about other centres’ excellent practice and often take ideas back to our department to try out. When I was asked to Co-Chair the committee, I was overwhelmed and felt inexperienced and underqualified for this role, however I certainly bring enthusiasm and have really enjoyed the challenge. The hardest thing for me is juggling the workload though I have a really supportive team at work and the BSE office staff (notably Jo) do an amazing job of keeping me on the straight and narrow!

In terms of BSE Council involvement, this is still new to me having sat on Council for one year. I must say that I didn’t really understand the full structure of the Society and had no idea of the amount of work undertaken by the Council, Committees and others. It has been a fabulous opportunity to ‘meet’ (virtually sadly this year!) and work with a broad group of people involved in echo who are also passionate about moving our field forward in the right direction and providing world-leading education, accreditation and publications for our Society’s members. I have learnt so much about other areas of practice and it has opened my eyes to wider discussions about the role of echo. In this role I have been involved in writing new guidance and position statements and attended other national meetings to represent BSE. All of this has given me a much broader appreciation of our field and skills and knowledge I wouldn’t have had as well as the opportunity to represent you all and work with some fabulous people.

I’d definitely encourage other members to get involved. It’s our Society and it can only truly reflect members with engagement and representation from as many members across all disciplines, regions and from all types of echo departments so we can ensure the work of the Society remains relevant to as many of our members as possible.

There’s loads of ways you can be involved in BSE, as regional representative, sitting on a committee, or even standing for election to BSE council; nominations open soon…

Find out more about the BSE Council