Diagnostic radiographers help diagnose illnesses or injuries by capturing images of the inside of the body using imaging technology.
You could be:
using complex equipment and techniques such as x-rays, ultrasound, fluoroscopy, CT, MRI, nuclear medicine, angiography and mammography to get images which identify damage or disease
assessing patient to determine appropriate radiographic technique
putting dyes into a patient’s body to highlight soft parts
talking to a patient to explain what is happening and to encourage or calm them
examining the images and providing evaluations of results
checking equipment on a regular basis and reporting any faults
providing an update of images to colleagues.
Within the NHS Agenda for Change scales radiographers' salaries are on Band 5, £26,104 to £32,915 a year. With experience this can rise to Band 6, £33,072 to £40,736 a year. Advanced radiographers salaries are on Band 7, £40,872 to £47,846 a year. The current pay scales are from April 2021.
Work would be mainly in a specialist department in a hospital.
You may work with mobile equipment, in other parts of a hospital or in the community.
You may have to work evenings or weekends in Accident and Emergency.
You would wear a uniform.
For some work, you would wear clothing which protects you against radiation and you would carry equipment to measure radiation.
It can be a physically demanding job, with moving and lifting patients and equipment.
confident in operating complex equipment and aware of safety procedures
able to get on well with people from all backgrounds and of all ages
caring, supportive and able to calm patients
able to explain procedures clearly
interested in biology, anatomy and physiology
accurate and precise
able to deal with difficult patients in Accident and Emergency
willing to accept responsibility and make decisions
adaptable to learning new skills.
Once you have gained state registration, training is on the job.
You would be expected to keep up to date with new technologies by completing Continuing Professional Development (CPD).
You can join the Society and College of Radiographers (SCoR) as a student. They provide courses, conferences and seminars where you can swap ideas with colleagues and update skills.
You could do a post-registration course approved by the Consortium for the Accreditation of Sonographic Education (CASE) to become a specialist in ultrasound. Other specialist areas include magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computed tomography (CT) or specialist screening procedures.
Some diagnostic radiographers work with specific groups of patients such as breast screening, children, stroke patients or cancer patients.
You might move into a senior post or into management.
The Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) is the UK-wide regulatory body responsible for setting and maintaining standards of professional training, performance and conduct in the following health care professions: Arts Therapists; Audiologist; Biomedical Scientist; Chiropodist and Podiatrist; Clinical Scientist; Dietician; Dramatherapist; Occupational Therapist; Operating Department Practitioner; Orthoptist; Paramedic; Physiotherapist; Practitioner Psychologist; Prosthetist and Orthotist; Radiographer; Speech and Language Therapist. (The HCPC may regulate other healthcare professions in the future.) The HCPC website contains a register of all approved courses in the above professions.