What to Expect When You Work as a Radiographer

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Published: 12 Sep 2017      

Those who enter the medical field have a lot of options when it comes to the areas they specialise in. Making the right choice is crucial, as this will inform every career decision that you make from here on out.

This means you need to understand what you’re letting yourself in for when you decide to specialise in a certain field. Today, we’re going to take a look at the role of radiographers in the medical field, in addition to examining the career prospects somebody who chooses this path has.

The Basics

A diagnostic radiography job will see you working alongside a lot of people who are ill or have injuries that they need tending to. You’ll predominantly use ultrasound and x-ray machines to make your diagnoses. The key is that you’ll spend a lot of your time looking inside the bodies of your patients to work out what’s happening with them.

Because of this, you will work alongside many of the departments in your medical facility. Others will rely on the images you create to help them treat their patients. As your skills develop, you’ll be able to come up with treatment plans, and will help other medical professionals decipher the images you create.

Your Responsibilities

Radiographers tend to carry out some, or even all, of the following tasks:

  • Initial assessments on patients, during which time they’ll work out which radiography techniques they should use.
  • Checks on equipment to ensure radiation doesn’t become an issue.
  • Carrying out the chosen radiography assessments to produce the images they need to examine the patient in more detail.
  • Managing the patient’s referrals to ensure the patient is exposed to as little radiation as possible while undergoing treatment.
  • Working alongside other medical professionals to help them interpret the images their work produces.
  • Advising other medical professionals on proper radiation safety protocols.
  • Personal patient care that takes the patient’s potential anxieties into account.
  • Continuing education so that they understand the latest innovations in radiography, and how they can apply them in their work.
  • Some radiographers may choose to conduct their own research into new techniques and procedures.

As you can see, you can expect a fairly heavy workload when you’re a radiographer. However, that’s part and parcel of working in a medical job. The rewards you will receive for your work will likely outweigh any stress that the role may cause.

The Benefits

So what are the reasons why you might choose a career in radiography? Let’s look at the salary first. Newly qualified radiographers are likely to earn somewhere in the region of £21,000 - £22,000 per year, though this will increase as they go up the pay scale. Experienced radiographers can earn up to £35,000 per year, whereas consultants and advanced radiographers can earn anywhere between £40,000 and £70,000.

You may also receive other payments that can go towards the costs of living. This is most likely if you live in London, or another area of the country where living expenses are higher than the average. You’ll also receive additional payment for overtime and your on-call work.

Furthermore, there should be plenty of opportunities to find work. The majority of hospitals have radiography departments, and people with the relevant skills are in high demand.

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