Radiographers help diagnose or treat patients who are ill or injured, using different kinds of radiation such as x-rays, radioisotopes, ultrasound and magnetic resonance. The work requires knowledge of anatomy, physiology and pathology and the ability to work with highly technical, computerised equipment, while at the same time caring for patients.
There are two types of radiography:
Most radiographers in the NHS work 35 hours a week, although under new legislation this may increase to 37.5 hours a week. Diagnostic radiographers regularly work nights and weekends.
Diagnostic radiographers work mainly in the radiography department of a hospital, but could also work in other departments such as outpatients, Accident and Emergency, operating theatres and wards. Unsocial hours are often required to accommodate shift patterns. Increasingly there are opportunities for radiographers to work in primary health care (particularly GP surgeries), and occasionally sports clubs, using ultrasound to assess injury.
Therapeutic radiographers work in specially equipped radiotherapy/oncology centres across the country.
Radiographers usually wear a uniform, and diagnostic radiographers wear protective clothing when carrying out certain procedures. The work can be tiring, stressful and physically and emotionally demanding.
To be a radiographer you should:
Most radiographers are employed in NHS hospitals, clinics or radiotherapy centres. There are some opportunities to work in private hospitals or the armed forces, and to work abroad.
There are opportunities to undertake further training and qualifications to specialise in a particular area of work, for example, counselling and palliative care; using particular techniques or equipment; or working with a particular group of patients. Others may specialise in research, teaching or quality assurance.
Career progression is to senior radiographer and superintendent. Radiographers may also move into departmental or general NHS management.
If you would like to know anything about Radiographer that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.
NHS Learning and Development Service
Tel: 08000 150 850