What does a Radiographer do?

Job Description

(formerly radiologic technologist/X-ray technologist)

A radiographer is a healthcare professional who possesses the knowledge and skills to use diagnostic level x-radiation and its associated instrumentation in the production of medical images of the human body and in the performance of radiologic procedures.

Supervision is provided by radiologists (medical physicians who specialize in the interpretation of radiologic images). The radiographer is responsible for positioning the patient properly into the beam of the radiation source and adjusting the proper exposure techniques for the optimum film resolution with the least radiation exposure to the patient.

The radiographer is also responsible for placing proper immobilization devices and protective shielding on the patient and taking any protective measures for themselves and other personnel in the radiation area. The length and time of exposure is calculated by the radiographer for the diagnosis and/or treatment of the affected area.

Administration of drugs and preparation of chemical mixtures for the visualization of radiographic structures are also required. Observation of the patient for adverse reactions to these chemical mixtures is also required.

The radiographer uses the proper size image receptor and technically adjusts it to record the maximum visualization of an anatomic structure. The primary concern during the procedure is comfort of the patient throughout the examination. The radiographer then develops the image through automatic processing methods and is responsible for distinguishing acceptable radiographs for the radiologist to interpret.

Recording and reporting accurately are mandatory for the radiographer. Minor maintenance of the equipment, cleaning of the equipment, and reporting of any equipment malfunctions are necessary duties of the radiographer.

The radiographer may specialize in one or more of the advanced modalities (i.e., Sonography, Mammography, Nuclear Medicine, Radiation Therapy, CT Scanning, Magnetic Resonance, Bone Densitometry, etc.).

The radiographer x-rays and works with healthy, sick and disabled people in emergency situations, hospitals, clinics, private medical offices or industrial environments.

The radiographer provides basic medical care and assists with emergency patient treatment as a member of the healthcare team. The examinations are done under sterile conditions to decrease the likelihood of infection to the patient, medical personnel and the general populace outside of the medical setting.

The radiographer is often on emergency call 24-hours a day.

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