March 31, 2015
Article by Global Pre-Meds
Hospital doctor shadowing & global health experience programs.
A radiographer specialises in using x-rays to produce radiographs of patients in order to help diagnose the patient’s medical condition. It is a very exciting career option for anyone who would like to help people but are more interested in the technical aspects of healthcare rather than the clinical/medical aspects.
Radiographers help physicians to diagnose a patient’s medical problem by using specialised equipment. In addition to using X-rays and producing radiographs, these professionals also make use of MRI machines, ultrasound scanners and CT scanners when necessary to get more accurate images of a person’s body. In some settings they may also undergo additional training in the use of highly advanced equipment such as angiography equipment and fluoroscopy equipment.
The job of a radiographer is not limited to just sitting at the machine and taking pictures. When a patient comes in with the doctor’s request, the radiographer must first decide which machine will give the most accurate results for that particular purpose. The images then need to be taken properly so that the medical problem can be diagnosed accurately. The radiographer then has to develop or process the images and store them properly.
Besides taking images of the person, a radiographer may have to inject dye into the person for certain specific procedures such as in the case of an angiography. Radiographers also have to be present for certain surgical procedures in order to take images of patients during the course of the operation. Some radiographers also perform mobile radiography, where they need to take the equipment to the patient, whether at a hospital, clinic or the patient’s home when the patient is unable to go to the x-ray department.
Radiographers are not qualified to make a medical diagnosis based on the results of the x-rays. However, they do need to go over the images after they have been processed in order to make sure that the work has been carried out properly according to the patient’s or the doctor’s request.
In order to become a qualified radiographer, you will need to complete a three-year Bachelor’s degree in Applied Science – Medical Radiation Technology or Medical Imaging Technology. This degree is offered by a number of well-known universities in the country.
After the completion of the degree, it is necessary to work for a minimum of one year under the supervision of a qualified radiographer in order to have the necessary practical experience to get into the field. After one year of practical experience, you will be able to work as a full-time radiographer.
Once you get your qualification, you may apply for membership with the Australian Institute of Radiography, an organisation that oversees and supports radiographers in Australia. You may also apply for membership to the Medical Radiations Technologist’s Board to obtain a Radiation Use Licence as well as Registration. You will need this if you want to work in certain states.
This can be a very rewarding job with huge employment prospects as there are too few qualified radiographers to meet the increasing demand.
Gap Medics provides year-round hospital work experience for people aged 16 and over. Our shadowing placements offer a unique insight into the work of doctors, nurses, midwives, and dentists – helping students to focus their career aspirations before embarking upon medical training.