A radiographer is a medical professional that is indispensable to the medical industry. Though they are not held in as high esteem as general practitioners or surgeons, for example, they are just as important.
To become a radiographer, you should have a certificate, associate, or bachelor’s degree in radiography or sonography. You also need to receive a license from the state.
A radiographer has various duties and responsibilities in a hospital, clinic, or medical institution. The job description may vary from facility to facility but there are those duties that remain the same. They include:
Interact with Patients
One thing that a radiographer does daily is to interact with patients. The purpose is to assess patients and what their medical requirements entail. They will then determine which radiographic techniques to use to assess the patients. The assessment will usually follow a diagnosis from a doctor where the radiographer might be present or receive details of the diagnosis.
Assessing patients and finding out their needs in this regard is known as diagnostic radiography. Once the patient has been appropriately diagnosed, the radiographer can proceed to their main function.
Performing Radiographic Examinations
The primary job of a radiographer is to utilize the necessary equipment to produce high-quality images of the patient. The machines used in this regard will be X-ray machines. Performing medical imaging is a way to find out more about the patient and their condition. An X-ray reveals much about what is going on inside a patient and will either confirm or deny the patient’s diagnosis.
Most radiographers will perform only one type of radiographic examination for example mammography. However, there are some that can do it all and it will mostly depend on how a hospital is staffed.
After taking digital images of the patient on X-ray machines, the images have to be interpreted. A doctor will typically do the interpretation while coming up with a treatment for the condition.
On the other hand, the radiographer is required to write or present a report on the images taken. Such jobs are what are referred to as reporting radiography jobs. It will typically involve analyzing the images and writing a report about the main findings.
The radiographer will report on issues such as bone fractures, internal infections, and tumor growth. With more specialized training, a radiographer may also work in other areas of radiography.
It is the radiographer’s job to maintain the equipment that they use for medical imaging. It will involve checking the equipment for any defects or malfunctions regularly. The equipment that a radiographer uses produces a significant amount of radiation. It is the job of a radiographer to ensure that the radiation levels are kept low and the environment is safe for both the staff and the patients.
The duty of maintaining the equipment is an everyday job that involves checking, testing, and rectifying the machines daily. If there is an issue to be remedied it is up to the radiographer to ensure that it is fixed. Creating a safe environment as far as radiography is concerned will also entail keeping up with safety and health guidelines from the relevant authorities as far as the equipment is concerned.
Supervising Radiography and Imaging Assistants
A radiographer will function in a supervisory role as well. It is his or her job to supervise everyone working under them. A radiographer will typically have assistants to help them with their work. Operating radiography and other imaging equipment may require several people and the radiographer should ensure that they are doing their job correctly.
The radiography will also supervise any visiting staff or patients that come to the radiation work areas. They should be safe and protected from radiation exposure as much as possible. The radiographer is by no means an administrator of a hospital. However, they can be involved in management and teaching which are also supervisory roles.
Assisting During Surgery
There is a lot that goes on in an operating room during surgery. Sometimes, the surgeon may be unable to properly view details of the operation and require medical imaging equipment. Invasive surgeries need a great view of the patient’s internal organs. Medical imaging equipment is a great solution for a better internal view during surgery. It is the job of the radiographer to provide and supervise the use of the equipment during surgery. They will offer assistance to the surgeon in whatever capacity that they are needed.
In summary, a radiographer does a variety of tasks every day. Some of these tasks include assisting during surgery, interacting with patients, maintaining equipment, performing radiographic examinations, and functioning in a supervisory role. There are other roles but the ones above are the ones you can expect a radiographer to do every day.