Radiographer Medical radiographer
Radiographers use equipment to diagnose or treat patients who are ill or injured.
1. Entry requirements
You can work in diagnostic radiography or therapeutic radiography. You'll need a degree in diagnostic or therapeutic radiography, approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).
If you're a health professional or a graduate with a relevant first degree, you could take a fast-track pre-registration postgraduate diploma or Masters qualification in radiography.
You could also start as a radiography assistant and work your way up to assistant practitioner. You can then work and study part time for a degree and a professional qualification as a radiographer.
2. Skills required
- analytical and observational skills
- ability in science, particularly biology, anatomy, physiology and physics
- the ability to communicate appropriately with patients who may be very ill
- IT skills to use computerised equipment
3. What you'll do
As a diagnostic radiographer, your day-to-day tasks may include:
- producing and interpreting high quality images of the body to identify and diagnose injury and disease
- screening for abnormalities
- taking part in surgical procedures like biopsies (examining tissues to find the cause of disease)
As a therapeutic radiographer, your day-to-day tasks may include:
- planning and giving treatment using x-rays and other radioactive sources
- working closely with medical specialists to plan treatment of malignant tumours or tissue defects
- assessing and monitoring patients through treatment and follow-up
You'll work in a team with clinical oncologists, physicists and radiology nurses.
Starter: £21,000 to £28,000
Experienced: £35,000 to £41,000
Highly Experienced: up to £68,000
These figures are a guide.
5. Working hours, patterns and environment
You'll usually work around 37 hours a week, which may include shifts and evenings, weekends and public holidays. The work can be physically and emotionally demanding.
Diagnostic radiographers work in hospitals, including:
- outpatient clinics
- accident and emergency wards
- operating theatres
Therapeutic radiographers work in a radiotherapy or oncology centre.
You'll usually wear a uniform and, if you work in diagnostic radiography, protective clothing.
6. Career path and progression
With experience, you could become a sonography specialist, radiography team leader or consultant practitioner.
You could also take further qualifications to specialise in:
- counselling and palliative care
- the use of certain techniques or equipment
- working with specific groups of patients
- research and teaching
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Last updated: 11 April 2017