April 25, 2014
Article by Global Pre-Meds
Hospital doctor shadowing & global health experience programs.
If you love helping people and want to do important work where you can make a significant difference to the lives of others, you should consider a career as a radiography technician. This can be a truly rewarding profession where you get the opportunity to work directly with patients as part of a highly skilled healthcare team.
A radiography program will give you the training necessary to work directly with patients, performing radiographic procedures for wellness as well as assisting physicians in detecting any injury or disease. Most radiography courses consist of academic and clinical blocks during which you will acquire the relevant professional knowledge and practical training in various, very precise clinical techniques.
As a radiographer, you can choose a career in diagnostic radiography or therapeutic radiography. In diagnostic radiography, a range of sophisticated equipment and innovative imaging techniques are used to produce high quality images of an injury or disease. As a therapeutic radiographer, you would be involved in prepping and treating cancer patients using radiotherapy
The modern diagnostic radiographer is an important part of the hospital team. These professionals are responsible for examining patients using highly-specialised equipment and producing high-quality clinical images used to detect, monitor and manage disease processes or the effects of trauma. As a diagnostic radiographer you will learn to use a wide range of sophisticated technology for different imaging modalities. This would include Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), X-ray, ultrasound and Computed Tomography (CT) scans.
The primary workplace for diagnostic radiographers is in hospital diagnostic imaging departments but they also undertake imaging procedures within operating theatres, resuscitation rooms, minor trauma units, cardiac catheter laboratories, accident and emergency departments, radionuclide imaging units and endoscopy rooms.
As a diagnostic radiographer, you can choose to specialise in advanced areas of practice and undertake teaching, management or research.
Therapeutic radiographers are responsible for the safe and accurate planning and delivery of radiotherapy to patients with cancer. This is a vital role that requires the use of highly sophisticated technology. Cancer is not just one disease. It can develop almost anywhere in the body and there are several different types of tumours, which means that every case is likely to be different. A course of radiotherapy treatment may last from one day to several weeks. As a therapeutic radiographer, you will need to support the physical and emotional wellbeing of your patient throughout the duration of the course.
Therapeutic radiographers target tumours with millimetre accuracy using highly complex equipment and techniques. The aim is to ensure that the tumour receives the maximum dose while the surrounding normal tissues receive the minimum possible dose.
Therapeutic radiographers predominantly work in departments of radiotherapy treating patients where they have multiple responsibilities including;
Preparing patients for radiotherapy
Imaging to localise tumour
Calculating the correct dose
Delivery of radiotherapy
Giving information and support.
Radiography offers tremendous employment prospects within the healthcare field. This demanding, technical discipline requires exceptional personal qualities and in return offers a flexible, professional career with a high level of job satisfaction.
Therapeutic radiographers can develop and progress in their careers towards business or technical management, or clinical specialism.