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Career As A Radiology Technician

Radiographers,[1] also known as Radiologic Technologists, Diagnostic Radiographers, Medical Radiation Technologists[2] or less frequently as a X-Ray Technicians perform imaging of the human body for diagnosis and/or treatment of pathological or medical conditions. Radiographers work in both public and private healthcare and can be physically located in any setting where appropriate diagnostic equipment is located, most frequently in hospitals. Their practice varies country to country and can even vary between hospitals in the same country.[3]

Radiographers are represented by a variety of organisation worldwide, the International Society of Radiographers and Radiologic Technologists (ISRRT) aims to give direction the profession as a whole through collaboration with national representative bodies.[4]

A radiographer uses their expertise and knowledge of patient care, physics, anatomy, physiology, pathology and radiology to assess patients, develop optimum radiological techniques and evaluate the resulting radiographic media.[6]

This branch of healthcare is extremely varied between countries and as a result Radiographers in one country often have a completely different role to that of Radiographers in another. However, the base responsibilities of the Radiographer are summarised below:

  • Autonomy as a professional
  • Contribute to and participate in Continuing Professional Development (CPD)
  • Enforcement of Radiation Protection (There is a duty of care to patients, colleagues and any lay persons that may be irradiated)
  • Justification of radiographic examinations
  • Patient Care
  • Production of diagnostic media
  • Safe, efficient and correct use of diagnostic equipment
  • Supervise students and assistants

Generally, Radiographers do not interpret diagnostic media, rather they evaluate media and make a decision about its diagnostic effectiveness. In order to make this evaluation Radiographers must have a comprehensive but not necessarily exhaustive knowledge of pathology and radiographic appearances; it is for this reason that Radiographers often do not interpret or diagnose without further training. Notwithstanding, it is now becoming more common that Radiographers have an extended and expanded clinical role, this includes a role in initial radiological diagnosis, diagnosis consultation and what subsequent investigations to conduct. It is not uncommon for Radiographers to now conduct procedures autonomously.[7]

Contrary to what could be inferred, Radiographers conduct and contribute to investigations which are not necessarily radiological in nature i.e sonography and MRI.

Radiographers often have opportunities to enter military service due to their role in Healthcare. As with most other occupations in the medical field many radiographers have rotating shifts that include night duties.

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