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Radiographer, diagnostic

Assists clinicians in the diagnosis of disease, using techniques such as radiography, X-ray, ultrasound, nuclear medicine and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Job description

Diagnostic radiographers assist clinicians in the diagnosis of disease. Techniques used include radiography, X-ray, ultrasound, nuclear medicine and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) which produce images of body parts. Diagnostic radiographers have a patient care role and work in multidisciplinary teams within various hospital departments.

Diagnostic radiographers are trained to deal with a huge range of conditions and injuries. They must exercise understanding, patience and empathy in order to calm patients and carry out all necessary scans and X-rays. An ability to communicate with people of all ages and react quickly in emergencies is essential. They must be able to adapt to the department environment they work in, for example shifts in accident and emergency can be very stressful and busy. Diagnostic radiographers may undertake a variety of investigations; some specialise in certain techniques.

The constant changes and developments in the technology industry mean that the technologies used in radiography are continually changing and having an impact on the role itself.

Work activities

  • Using specialised equipment, technologies and techniques to obtain images of parts/areas of the body.
  • Determining the most appropriate method of scanning for each patient.
  • Consulting with other medical staff to identify and diagnose diseases, conditions and the nature of injuries.
  • Ensuring equipment is maintained and used safely.
  • Adapting to working in different departments.

Work conditions

Travel: sometimes necessary if visiting other hospital sites.
Working hours: Shift work and nights are common, and radiographers can be on call.
Location: public and private hospitals, surgeries and clinics across the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Entry requirements

Applicants must have a primary degree in radiography. Trinity College Dublin offers a BSc (Hons) in Radiation Therapy and UCD offers a four-year BSc (Hons) in Radiography. Both are recognised for entry to the Irish Institute of Radiography.

For graduates of other disciplines, it is possible to study a postgraduate degree in radiography. For these courses, a science/medical background is generally required. There are currently no postgraduate radiography courses for graduates available in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.