Career Information

Working as a Diagnostic Radiographer

Diagnostic radiographers work mainly within the radiology and imaging departments of hospitals but may also work in surgeries/clinics/orthopedics/doctor’s offices.

Radiology departments within hospitals normally include a number of sections encompassing a wide range of different imaging modalities, e.g. ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging, nuclear medicine and, of course, x-rays. Diagnostic radiographers are able to undertake most investigations but may later specialize in one particular area.

Diagnostic radiographers use a range of imaging technology:

  • X-ray – looks through tissues to examine bones, cavities and foreign objects
  • Fluoroscopy – images the digestive system providing a real-time image
  • CT (Computed Tomography) – which provides cross-sectional views (slices) of the body
  • MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) – builds a 2D or 3D map of the different tissue types within the body
  • Ultrasound – well known for its use in obstetrics and gynecology. Also used to check circulation and examine the heart.
  • Angiography – used to investigate blood vessels

Diagnostic radiographers provide a service for most departments within the hospital, including accident and emergency patients, outpatients, inpatients, and surgical patients. Close liaison and collaboration with a wide range of other healthcare professionals is therefore vital.

X-ray is one of the imaging techniques used by diagnostic radiographers to look at injuries or disease, or monitor changes inside the body. While most diagnostic radiographers carry out a range of procedures, they may specialize in techniques such as computerized tomography scanning (CT), or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) which uses magnetic field and radio frequency waves to produce cross-sectional images of the body, sonography (DMS), nuclear medicine (NM), mammography (M), radiation therapy, etc.

Diagnostic radiography is a fast-moving and continually changing profession, and long-term career prospects include:

  • management
  • education
  • research
  • clinical work
  • sales of equipment

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