Purpose and Mission
Radiographers, also known as medical imaging specialists, operate x-ray and other imaging equipment to produce high-quality medical images to help other doctors to diagnose, monitor and treat illnesses and injuries. They are an important part of the diagnostic health care team and work with the latest technical equipment and software.
Radiographers usually work in medical imaging centres, which can be found in public and private hospitals and at private radiology practices. Some also accept academic positions and teach undergraduate and postgraduate courses at universities.
As mentioned above, most radiographers are employed at hospitals and clinics, so they typically report to a department head or chief of service.
Radiographers may have supervisory responsibilities relating their practice, or be responsible for training new colleagues, but otherwise tend to be focused more on equipment and patient care.
Medical imaging specialists study the science of medical radiation at an undergraduate or graduate level at university. Completing a degree program takes approximately three to four years.
Upon graduation, radiographers must work at an accredited clinical radiology department which is managed by the Australian Institute of Radiography (AIR). After this practical internship has been successfully completed, they can apply for accreditation via AIR.
In most states, radiographers must also apply to the relevant board of registration in order to practice.
Responsibilities of a Radiographer / Medical Imaging Specialist
Radiographers must have a strong scientific and technology background to use equipment such as CT (computed tomography), MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) and mobile X-ray machines. Specialties in radiography include:
The primary responsibility of a radiographer is to create a useful image while focusing on delivering a positive patient experience.
These healthcare professionals need strong interpersonal and communication skills to be able to effectively explain procedures and post-examination care to their patients. They must also practice active listening skills to understand their patients’ concerns and address them effectively.
Finally, medical imaging specialists must be accurate and detail oriented as they calculate timing of procedures, limit exposure to radiation and employ logical and critical thinking skills on a day-to-day basis.