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Radiographer - Job Profile, Duties & Responsibilities

Diagnostic radiographers use X-ray, ultrasound, fluoroscopy, computerised tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), nuclear medicine and angiography, to produce images of organs and other body parts.

Who is a Diagnostic Radiographer?


Diagnostic Radiographers assist in the diagnosis of injuries and diseases, and contribute towards establishing treatment plans. They are also involved in intervention procedures, such as the removal of kidney stones.

Radiographers perform X-ray examinations on patients in a variety of clinical settings. These examinations can vary from a simple hand X-ray to an examination of the kidneys after contrast media is injected. Radiographers work in outpatient clinical settings, perform complex procedures in surgery, and work in hospitals performing examinations on patients of all ages.

Diagnostic radiographers employ a range of sophisticated equipment to produce high quality images to diagnose an injury or disease.

Techniques Used By Radiographers

X-rays, Ultrasound, Fluoroscopy, CT, MRI, Nuclear Medicine, Angiography & Bone Mineral Densitometry

They use a range of techniques including:

  • X-rays to look through tissue to examine bones, cavities and foreign objects;

  • Ultrasound uses high frequency sound and is increasingly used due to its versatility in obstetrics, including fetal monitoring throughout pregnancy, gynaecology, abdominal, paediatrics, cardiac, vascular and musculo-skeletal;

  • Fluoroscopy to image the digestive system providing a live motion x-ray;

  • CT (computed tomography) which provides cross-sectional views (slices) of the body;

  • MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) builds a 2-D or 3-D map of different tissue types within the body;

  • Nuclear medicine this uses radioactive tracers which can be administered to examine how the body and organs function, for example the kidneys or heart. Certain radioisotopes can also be administered to treat particular cancers eg thyroid cancer.

  • Angiography to investigate blood vessels

  • Bone mineral densitometry - to assess the mineral content in the bones to detect the fragility of bones

The Diagnostic Radiographer is required to use clinical reasoning skills in making decisions regarding the nature and extent of individual procedures. They are trained to recognize the normal and abnormal appearances of anatomy and pathology in order to initiate supplementary techniques to assist the health practitioner reach a definitive diagnosis and provide when requested an informed opinion to the referring health practitioner regarding the results of procedures, which assists the health practitioner in arriving at a correct diagnosis. The diagnostic radiographer is responsible for the comfort and well-being of patients whilst they are in their care.

Courses in Diagnostic Radiography, India

In India diploma, degree and postgraduate courses are there in this field. Also students can under go specialization in a particular diagnostic radiography field.

Job Opportunities in Radiography, India

There is currently a strong demand for diagnostic radiographers, both in the public and private sector. Graduates have the opportunity to accept positions in capital cities, rural and remote locations and, internationally.

Diagnostic radiographers have the opportunity to work in a variety of medical imaging clinical environments, some of which are general in nature and provide a broad spectrum of imaging modalities and patient presentations. Other clinical environments can be specialized such as in children's hospitals, geriatric, spinal injury and the defense forces. Diagnostic radiographers also have the opportunity to specialize in an imaging modality such as ultrasound, CT, MRI, etc. Diagnostic radiographers provide a service for most departments of a hospital, including accident and emergency, outpatients clinics, operating theatres, intensive care units, and general wards.

Career mobility for radiographers is excellent. With further education or experience, opportunities exist for advancement in education, management and additional imaging modalities. Recruitment agencies are also able to place newly qualified and experienced diagnostic radiographers into employment.

Contributing Writer : Jayakumar. A Lecturer, Faculty of Allied Health Sciences, Directorate of Distance Education, Sikkim Manipal University, Manipal-576104 [email protected] 

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