Radiographers work very closely with doctors as they provide the visual data of a patient. They have to ensure that the doctor’s orders are carried out as well as to conform to rules regarding the use of radiation. As the radiographer is with the patient throughout their examination, they must monitor and report the patient’s condition of any abnormalities to the referring doctor immediately. Daily job responsibilities consist of the following activities.
The radiographer must conduct a routine check to ensure that all examination rooms and essential equipment are in order before the arrival of their first patient. Upon receiving the patient, an interview with them on their medical history is necessary prior to preparing them for their specific examination. It is also the duty of the radiographer to inform and explain the procedures involved to patients so that they understand what they will be undergoing. This way, greater cooperation is also gained from patients, allowing the radiographer to capture images accurately.
To ensure that patients are not expose to unnecessary radiation, radiographers will use radiation protection devices like lead gloves, apron and shield or to restrict the amount of the x ray beam to the affected area. The greatest challenge for all radiographers would be to generate images accurately in one single process. This may be difficult at times, especially with infant or elderly patients when they have to ensure the right positioning of the patient’s body as well as the correct direction and height of the radiographic equipment.
With the help of device like a tape measure, they will compute the thickness of the area to be radiograph and adjust the machine accordingly to generate radiographs of the appropriate density, detail and contrast. Additional training is necessary for radiographers who need to perform complex imaging examinations such as the mammography, ultrasound, fluoroscopies, computer tomography (CT), whereby the radiographer operates the computerized tomography scanners to produce cross sectional views of patients.
Other complex test includes the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) where cross-sectional images of the patient’s body are captured using huge electromagnets and radio waves to produce images instead of radiation. Such examinations may require the patient to consume or be injected with a solution of contrast medium so as to make their internal organs more observable during their examination. Sometimes the radiographers may help with the preparation and dispensation of the chemical mixture to the patients.
They may also be involved in other administration and supervisory duties such as preparation of work schedules for other co-workers, assess equipment, procurement of consumables and general management of the radiology department. It is a requirement for all Radiographers practising in the NHS to be State Registered. Radiographers are State Registered by the Radiographers Board at the Health Professions Council (HPC) under the authority of Parliament. The HPC Board publishes the register, approves training courses and carries out disciplinary functions.