Radiographers are primarily in charge of operating X-ray machines to generate high-quality diagnostic images that assist in evaluating numerous patient conditions. Some imaging specialties available are ultrasound imaging, MRI, cancer screening, ray, and vasculature interventional radiography. While job titles vary greatly by position, a significant portion of a radiographer’s work revolves around preparing clients for treatments and performing image processing assessments to generate diagnostic images utilizing their specialized skills and expertise. They educate patients on the imaging process, screen for contraindications, assist patients in position for the test, and manage imaging equipment to obtain the desired image. This essay will shed light on the tasks, requirements, advantages, and risks of the profession of radiographers, reflecting on why it is one of the most valuable healthcare jobs that combine the medical field with technology.
Radiographers interact closely with sick people, which implies that their job requires them to deal with severe illnesses and injuries that might frighten most people. Hence, representatives in this field should possess the qualities that help conquer any uneasiness or stress associated with the job. They should also be skilled in making patients feel comfortable. Accruing patient trust requires radiographers to have a specific emotional intelligence; otherwise, they threaten to cause further distress or add to the patient’s concerns. Since they will collaborate as part of a team, communication is another essential skill each radiographer needs. In this field, a communication breakdown is more than just a hard deadline or a disappointed customer; it can mean the difference between life and death.
In the radiology field, one might encounter patients with health issues in the pathophysiology of the digestive tract, thyroid gland function abnormalities, prostate disorders, traumatic brain injury, peripheral nerve diseases, and bronchopulmonary tree disorders. Moreover, there are many healthcare providers involved in a radiography team. For instance, doctors, technicians, nurses, and others constitute this team. Medical physicists, to illustrate, contribute to the safe and reliable use of radiotherapy. They collaborate with the radiography group to plan treatment and establish radiation procedure guidelines, ensure that doses of radiation are secure and precise, and monitor radiography systems.
X-ray technologists will perform various types of exams in their profession. For example, X-ray tomography is a practical and accurate volume measurement exam that examines and analyzes additively built parts (du Plessis et al., 2018). Chest X-ray, another effective screening exam for detecting pneumonia, is widely used in epidemic settings and is readily available for diagnosis (Singh et al., 2020). Moreover, an X-ray exam called angiography or arteriogram utilizes dye to show the arteries (Gherardini et al., 2020). While in most X-ray exams, digital technology can provide two-dimensional images of the whole internal body structures, an X-ray exam is especially helpful when detecting ailments or disorders that impact the bones and chest.
I want to become a radiographer to be able to find employment in a variety of environments. Radiographers may be employed in health facilities, private clinics, community clinics, or research laboratories. The workplace environment varies in each of these contexts, implying that I can select the surrounding that best suits my job style and preferences. For example, those who love working in fast-paced environments may try working in a hospital setting. Personally, I want to work during regular business hours, like in a research lab or clinic. This adaptability enables radiographers to function in an environment that best meets their professional objectives, clinical interests, and work-life balance requirements.
Regarding the challenges and health risks of the given profession, X-rays might cause mutations in our DNA, leading to cancer later. As a result, the Global Health Organization (WHO) and the government of the USA classify X-rays as a carcinogen (Strudwick, 2021). However, the advantages of X-ray tech far outweigh the risks associated with its use. According to some scientists, the level of health risk will rise with the increased use of X-ray equipment in medical procedures (Strudwick, 2021). Each operation has a unique health risk type depending on the form of X-ray and the segment of the skin being imaged.
Many demands are related to the X-ray field, especially regarding safety issues. Each new or relocated piece of equipment must undergo a radiation hazard assessment to determine and provide the necessary radiation protection before it is first used. The Safety Office must pre-notified and approve all X-ray generating equipment. Users must carefully analyze to ensure that all safety components, warning indications, and dose rates adhere to design criteria. Besides, public access to X-ray equipment is limited; only a designated person is in charge. X-ray equipment should regularly be examined for leaks and recorded.
Despite the possible risks mentioned above, radiographic testing is improving daily. As a radiographer, one may be rewarded in a way to receive training on cutting-edge industry equipment. They could also collaborate closely with doctors and patients amid a patient diagnosis. As a radiologic technologist, a person has an opportunity to be trained to perform various vital diagnostic tests. Radiologic technologists are essential in physically and emotionally preparing patients for these tests. Lastly, radiologic technologists gain rewards by performing a wide range of practices using innovative products and technical devices.
A radiography technician has many job options that can provide a rewarding career experience and an exciting work environment. Clinics, outpatient treatment centers, doctors’ offices, and medical centers constitute the most common places where radiographers work. Radiographers may also specialize in a narrow field, such as bone densitometry or gynecological ultrasonography, allowing them to work in more specialized hospitals. Municipal, state, and private clinics employ the majority of radiographers as they are essential in hospitals, providing patients with various imaging exam services.
One of the tangible realities of the profession is that X-ray technologists spend most of their time on their feet. A typical day lasts 8 hours, but many X-ray technologists may be required to work longer shifts. Most full-time X-ray technicians put in around 40 hours each week; they may also work evening, weekend, or on-call shifts when called to an emergency, such as an injury, to analyze a patient. As with many medical practitioners, there are also opportunities for shift work and part-time employment. As a result, many x-ray technologists take second or third shifts and may be required to work weekends.
Gherardini, M., Mazomenos, E., Menciassi, A., & Stoyanov, D. (2020). Catheter segmentation in X-ray fluoroscopy using synthetic data and Transfer Learning with light u-nets. Computer Methods and Programs in Biomedicine, 192, 105420.
du Plessis, A., Yadroitsev, I., Yadroitsava, I., & Le Roux, S. G. (2018). X-ray microcomputed tomography in Additive Manufacturing: A review of the current technology and applications. 3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing, 5(3), 227–247.
Singh, D., Kumar, V., Yadav, V., & Kaur, M. (2020). Deep Neural Network-based screening model for COVID-19-infected patients using chest X-ray images. International Journal of Pattern Recognition and Artificial Intelligence, 35(03), 2151004.
Strudwick, R. M. (2021). Working as a diagnostic radiographer: The role of the diagnostic radiographer. The Ethnographic Radiographer, 57–71.