Radiographer

Radiographers are an extremely important part of the healthcare team. Depending on the type of radiographer, they work to either diagnose injuries and diseases or treat certain conditions, such as cancer.

Diagnostic radiographer

Diagnostic radiographers are involved directly with the patient. They produce high-quality images of organs, limbs and other parts of the body so that diseases and injuries can be diagnosed and assessed.

They work with a range of different 'high tech' methods of examination, including x-rays, computed tomography (CT) scanning, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or ultrasound.

Therapeutic radiographer

Therapeutic radiographers use high-energy radiation to treat cancer and other conditions. They are responsible for targeting the right dose of radiation at the site of the disease. Working with other specialists, they plan each patient's course of treatment.

They also explain the process to the patient and discuss possible side effects and care throughout treatment. During treatment they assess patients on a daily basis, monitor side effects and provide support.

Skills needed

Radiographers need technical skill and academic ability. They must be comfortable working with complex equipment and keep up-to-date with fast-moving developments.

Training will provide the necessary clinical and technical expertise, however you will be working closely with patients who may be anxious and distressed. Therefore you need to be a good communicator and be able to offer support, empathy and encouragement to patients.

Training programme

The  Ulster University offers a BSc Hons Radiography, full-time three year programme in either diagnostic or therapeutic radiography.

All candidates are required to undergo a medical examination and an Access NI criminal records check.

You should contact the university directly for the latest information on entry requirements.

Application should be made through Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).

Career pathway

Choices for the diagnostic radiographer include trauma/ accident and emergency, CT scanning, MRI, nuclear medicine, breast screening and medical ultrasound.

Choices for the therapeutic radiographer include: treatment planning, treatment delivery, treatment review and palliative care.

Both diagnostic and therapeutic radiographers may also choose to specialise in teaching, research and management or clinically as their careers progress.

Professional recognition

The course is accredited by the Society of Radiographers and the Health Professions Council (HPC). Radiography graduates are eligible for registration with the HPC and membership of the Society of Radiographers.

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