Who is a radiographer and what are their duties and responsibilities?
Many people can see a radiographer as a radiologist but both professions are not the same and they have different responsibilities in an healthcare setting.
Because of the confusion that can arise between finding out who a radiographer is separate from a radiologist, we are going to declare the clear difference between a Radiographer and a Radiologist in this post.
Also, the discipline of a radiographer may be new to individuals such as healthcare students who may have Radiography as their degree of choice in medical school. Hence, they may want to know what Radiography as a degree program entails.
For such reason, this article will break down what Radiography is an award degree in higher institutions.
Lastly, certified Radiographers may be looking to get a new job and would want to know what their job duties entails. Hence, this article will provide detailed and simple job descriptions and functions of a Radiographer.
Lastly, we are going to explain with comprehensive differences about what a radiographer is that is different from what a radiologist is.
Who Is a Radiographer?
A radiographer is a certified healthcare professional that produces digital anatomic images for medical diagnostic purposes after undergoing training in medical school, and awarded a degree in Radiography either at the undergradua or postgraduate level.
A radiographer works in a hospital, research and diagnostic laboratories, medical clinic. A radiographer may also be found working in a non-clinical setting, for example, an embassy. In these settings, they examine travelers’ luggage and body system using imaging technology like an x-ray for banned substances.
The duties and responsibilities of a radiographer vary and this depends on their field of radiography, and the place where they work.
In this article, we are going to let you know about the general job description of a radiographer. Furthermore, you are also going to see specific job roles and functions of a radiographer depending on their specialties and where they work.
Job Description Of A Radiographer
The job duties of a radiographer will vary from one clinic or hospital to another. However, they will usually have some common job roles that is expected of a radiographer.
Below, you will find a comprehensive list of a radiographer job descriptions.
Use Vast Range Of Medical Imaging Equipment
A radiographer at the work place should be able to safely operate medical imaging equipment such as X-ray, flouroscopic equipment, C-arm apparatus, MRI, CT Scan, Ultrasound machine, and other imaging diagnostic equipment.
Maintenance Of The Radiographic Equipment In The Clinic
Apart from being able to operate these machines, a radiographer should ensure that the radiographic equipment is at all times safe and accessible to patients.
They should be able to move the radiographic equipment to patient care areas and operating rooms as needed.
Other radiographic equipment maintenance job duties of a radiographer are:
- Cleaning of the equipment
- Maintaining supply of radiographic accessories needed for equipment maintenance, and medical procedures.
Ensure Zero Hazards From Radiation Equipment And Ensure Health Safety Around The Radiology Clinic
A radiographer should mark radiation free zones of the area and should ensure the work area are cleaned of radioactive materials.
They should also employ universal safety standards and Precautions in daily performance of procedures.
Other safety job duties of a radiographer include:
- Using appropriate child and adult care procedures.
- Properly positioning patients during imaging.
- Restraining patients from harmful radiation zones.
Patients And Family Support
Situations can arise where the radiographer will have frequent contact with the patients, for instance, during treatment follow up.
In such cases, the radiographer should support the patient/family in post-procedural care and offer helpful resource information.
Other patient and family Support role of a radiographer include:
- Providing appropriate psychosocial therapies based on age and clinical ailment.
- Provide positive assurance to children and elderly patients.
- Answering the questions of patient relatives questions as needed.
Work With Radiologist
The radiographer won’t be the professionals to make diagnosis and recommend the best treatment plan. Medical diagnosis and treatment plans based on images from radiographers are done by radiologist.
Hence, the radiographers would always need to work with the radiologist.
Radiographers are to help the radiologists conduct fluoroscopic and other radiographic examinations as required in surgical procedures.
Radiographers are also to help radiologists execute mini-special procedures in fluoroscopic facilities and help critically ailing patients.
For instance, they should assist the radiologist in performing radiographic procedures on patients with Level I Trauma to facilitate immediate care.
Evaluate Patient Clinical Requirements
Every patient comes with a unique set of presentations. When there is usually more than 1 presentation, it is important that the radiographer thoroughly evaluate the patient history and presentations and work out the best radiographic technique to use in such a case.
Quality Assurance Checks
A non-negotiable part of the job duties of a radiographer is quality check. A radiographer performs quality checks regularly, usually daily, before starting work. The essence of this safety check is to ensure that the radiographic equipment is operating optimally and 100 percent safe.
A radiographer should ensure that none of the equipment is faulty or releases unintended radiation. This is either when in operation or when not in operation.
An integral part of diagnosis is communication with the patient. A radiographer should explain to the patient their findings from the images.
A radiographer should show psychological support to the patient and express their concerns regarding the diagnosis. Subsequent referral to the appropriate medical department and follow-up with the patient is important.
Other Job Duties Of A Radiographer
Work with other medical personnel in a multidisciplinary environment. In such a situation, the radiographer should proffer suggestions to the oncologists, physicians, radiologists, etc on the best treatment plan.
Properly position the patient on or around the radiographic equipment during the imaging procedures.
Be able to operate IT equipment such as computers as they are now integrated with the radiographic equipment.
Direct and show the junior radiographer and trainees how to correctly carry out radiographic procedures. Additionally, illustrates to the trainees how to make a good radiographic diagnosis and good patient communication.