Pursuing a Career in Radiography

Pursuing a Career in Radiography

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The route I have decided to take after gaining enough credits at Access to Higher Education (Healthcare Science) is to study Diagnostic Radiography. According to the Birmingham City University, I should at least obtain a minimum of 220 UCAS tariff points.
The number of credits required will be in excess of that of needed to pass the Access course (66Level 3 credits) and should include Level 3 credits in Science-based subjects, English and Study Skills.
I have chosen to take one of the Allied health professions route and want to study Radiography. When I was doing my research, I became aware of the whole range of careers one can pursue in the NHS. I am a caring person and aim to improve these qualities. Diagnostic radiographers work mainly within the radiology and imaging departments of hospitals, but may also work in surgeries or clinics. (www.prospects.ac.uk)


Radiographers provide essential services to millions of people. They deal with patients of all types and ages, from the very young to the elderly, as well as patients with special needs, such as visual or hearing impairments. Diagnostic radiographers produce high-quality images of organs limbs and other body parts to allow a wide range of diseases to be diagnosed. According to (The College of Radiographers -Registered Charity No 272505) May 2008. As a diagnostic radiographer, I am not confined to work in the x-ray department. I will x-ray patients in the accident and emergency department, on the wards, in the intensive care unit and in the operating theatre when patients are too ill to visit the x-ray department. Diagnostic radiographers work as part of a team and may work alone, outside normal working hours to provide x-ray services 24 hours a day. Wide ranges of imaging methods are used. These include ultrasound, MRI and CT scanning. Ranges of dyes or contrast agents are sometimes used to show soft tissue organs that would not appear on standard x-ray examinations e.g. arteries, the bowel and kidneys. (Medical Physics page 159-188)
Diagnostic radiographers also work closely with all members of health care team as the images produced can affect and determine the treatment and care a patient receives. The role of a radiographer is vitally important to other members of a healthcare team- the diagnosis from a radiographer’s image can affect and determine the treatment and care of a healthcare team. Being a diagnostic radiographer takes a special kind of person-combining skilled use of highly technical equipment with excellent interpersonal skills.

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This is affirmed by (Henderson1987) in (Ogier’s reading research) Third Edition. When nurses’ sensitivity to human needs is joined with the ability to find and use expert opinion, with the ability to find reported research and apply it to their practice, and when they themselves use the scientific method of investigation, there is no limit to the influence they might have on health care worldwide. A good radiographer should have an ability to talk kindly with patients and make them relax and feel at ease whilst conducting technical procedures.
Diagnostics radiographers provide a service for most departments within the hospital including accident and emergency, outpatients, operating theatres and wards. Teamwork is very important, as I will be working with other health care professionals. Radiology departments within hospital normally include a number of sections covering 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 specialise in one particular area.
Some of the imaging technologies that a diagnostic radiographer may use are as follows: X-ray, which looks through tissues to examine bones, cavities and foreign objects.
Fluoroscopy-images the digestive system providing a real-time image.
Computed Tomography (CT), which provides cross-sectional views of the body.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging, which builds a 2-D or 3-D map of the different tissue, types within the body.
The Ultrasound well known for its use in obstetrics and gynaecology. It also used to check circulation and examine the heart. In addition, there is Angiography used to investigate blood vessels.
Diagnostic radiography is a fast-moving and continually changing profession, and long-term career prospects include management, research clinical work and teaching.
(www.bcu.ac.uk) (www.nhscareers.nhs.uk)


After graduating a Diagnostic Radiographer salary can start from £19,000 to £37,000 per year, you also receive high cost living allowance if you work in a high cost area like around London. If you work outside normal working hours, you will receive pay enhancement. The standard working week is 37.5 hours authorized over time is payable at time and a half accept for general public holidays, which are paid double time. The pay system in the NHS is called Agenda for Change (AFC) this applies to all staff in the allied health professions: Band 5-radiographer
Band 6-specialist radiographer
Band 7-advanced etc
Good radiographers have a genuinely caring attitude for patients. I have to work very hard and its eight hours everyday. (www.radiography careers.co.uk)


Radiography is a significant and developing area of healthcare, and as my clinical experience increases I might move into more senior posts, perhaps specialising in an area such as trauma, treatment planning or on management responsibilities within the radiography team. (www.bcu.ac.uk/courses)


According to the Birmingham City University, this three-year course combines equal elements of theory with clinical practise. The theory aspect of the course is designed to develop knowledge and understanding of biological and radiation science, technology and the psychosocial issues of healthcare. Upon qualification, I will be able to use x-rays to help diagnose a range of injuries and diseases. I will also develop knowledge and skills in other imaging methods such as computed tomography (CT) scanning and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).It is not advisable to plan or be pregnant during this period, as this will affect the baby due to radioactivity. (www.radiographycareers.co.uk)


I should have passes in five GCSEs at grade C or above including English, Maths or Physics. The number of credits required will be in excesss of that needed to pass the Access course (66 Level 3 credits) and should include Level 3 credits in Science -based subjects, English and Study Skills. www.bcu.ac.uk/courses/radiography/diagnostic ( Accessed on the 12-09-2008)
I should also have an interest in science; Maths skills can also be helpful. A significant part of a three-year Bsc degree in diagnostic or therapeutic radiography is spent working in a diagnostic radiography or radiotherapy departments. There is time spent in the classroom of course, but most time is on placements. Some universities prefer students to be placed in a handful of hospitals, giving them time to get to know the department and how they work. In most cases, students have as many as nine placements over the duration of the course.

Birmingham City University’s prospectus 2008 states that, (During training formal lectures is supplemented with tutorials and group work to help us share ideas and experiences with other students. E-learning and online support is in some modules.) I will be assessed through a variety of ways, written asssignments, written exams, workstasion exams, staged tests and clinical assessments.

This course provides me with the knowledge and experience to register as a radiographer with the HPC. This allows me to practise in the UK and some overseas countries. Once I have completed my degree, I will be eligible to apply for registration as a radiographer with the Health Professions Council, and for professional membership of the Society of Radiographers. According to The School of Radiography.
I can choose to specialise in fields such as:
Trauma/accident and emergency
CT scanning
Nuclear medicine
Breast screening.

Opportunities also exist for management, teaching, research and quality assurance or choose to continue with studies at postgraduate level as increasing emphasis is being placed on hospital-based research to support evidence-based practice.

During my research, I also designed a questionnaire to find out how members of the community relate or know about radiography. Most of the people who answered were between the 15-70 age groups and I managed to present my results using a pie chart. About 50% of the people who answered my questionnaire knew about X-ray and 25% have had X-ray taken before. Only 20% knew who takes the X-ray and about 5% did not know and assumed it was the work of the nurse.

Knowledge of radiography

No of

On the face -to-face interview, I did manage to interview Dr D Chile who is a dentist He runs his own surgery and has been in this profession for 15 years. According to Dr Chile, he did three years at university graduated and worked for 1 year and decided to go back to university and graduated with a Masters Degree in Diagnostic Radiography. So overall, he did eight years studying, it was hard work but the rewards are great. The advantages of spending all that time studying are;
_becoming his own boss
_ running his own surgery but following the NHS guidelines
_good pay and some disadvantages are that all the risks are in your own hands.
After the interview which I recorded had a chance to re-run and am now more certain that this is the right career choice for me.

During this research, I have come to realise that being a diagnostic radiographer does not mean that you work on your own, but as part of a group. At first, I thought this was a type of job, which you would do using technology without being in close conduct with patients. Now I know that even a radiographer needs to have all the skills to handle different types of patients just like nurses. I am a caring person and aim to improve these qualities through study and training. For me to be accepted to enter university I need to achieve the required credits this year which are (66Level 3 credits) in Science-based subjects including English and Study Skills.
Diagnostic radiographers work mainly within the radiology and imaging departments of hospitals, but may also work in surgeries or clinics. (www.sorg.org)

I am quite interested and fascinated by how a human body works and photography. In this profession, I will be doing what I like best and caring for people .During these three years of study it is not going to be easy, but am prepared to work hard and achieve my goal.

On the research skills I used the questionnaire I think most people were not honest but wanted to please me or to get over it as soon as they can. I think most people do not like to be in hospital although it’s important in the community, which is why most people are not bothered to enquire about the differences between medical professional members. Maybe my approach did not help also, so I can not say my results are concrete, but have done my best to analyse the data I collected.
According to the NHS career guide 2007 ,radiography is a growing profession and job security is the best, making it a good choice. All I need now is to be focused and study BIBLIOGRAPHY
Career Prospect
(Accessed: 11 September 2008)

2. David S, Tom W, Walter W
Radiation Risks
Third edition (March 1991)

3. Dictionary of Applied Physics
Edited by Sir Richard Glazebrook
Vol. 1V
Macmillan and Co. LTD

4. Fact Sheet NHS 2007
(Accessed: 12 September 2008)

5. Medical Physics
University of Bath Science 16-19
By Martin Hollins
Second Edition by Thomas Nelson Publishing House (1992)

6.Olgier M. E
Reading Research (2002)
Third Edition

7. The College of Radiographers
Registered Charity No 272505
(May 2008)

8. Radiography Careers
(Accessed: 03 October 2008)

9. Radiology Museum
(Accessed: 05 October 2005)
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