Medical Imaging is an important, but often underrated profession in the healthcare industry. While not much is known about these medical workers, their significance in the field is undeniable. In fact, all healthcare areas make use of their services.
Also known as Radiographers, Medical Imaging Professionals are in charge of running equipment that create images of the human body-its parts and functions-for diagnostic, monitoring and treatment purposes. Operating radiation equipment, such as X-rays, these professionals work under the direction of radiologists and doctors.
Other Job Titles include:
Medical Diagnostic Radiographer
Medical Radiation Therapist
Nuclear Medicine Technologist
According to the Australian Government’s Job Outlook website, a Radiographer’s tasks also include the following:
Working on Medical Practitioners’ referrals to perform medical imaging and radiation treatment of patients.
Choosing and operating appropriate equipment to use for patient’s diagnosis based on Medical Practitioners’ requests; these include X-ray equipment, radiation scanners, ultrasound equipment, angiography equipment, fluoroscopes, nuclear instrumentation and computed tomography (CT) equipment.
Makes important decisions such as length and intensity of patient’s exposure to radiation, size and dosage strength of isotopes and recording equipment settings.
Explains processes and procedures to patients, as well as answering inquiries about processes.
Ensures patients’ welfare during procedures.
Prepares the patients and the equipment before procedures.
Makes decision on which images will help Medical Practitioners with diagnosis.
Conveys findings to Medical Practitioners.
Medical Imaging Job Outlook and Benefits
Employment of Radiographers in Australia has grown significantly over the past years and is seen to continue throughout the next years. In just the past 5 years, the profession has seen a great increase in employment of 83% to over 22,000 in 2011. Based on the Job Outlook study of the government, growth employment is expected to “grow very strongly” from 2016-2017. Also, employment in the profession is much favourable in the New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria regions.
The profession also leaves options for professionals to work part time of fulltime, with 76.3% of the employed working fulltime of 36.9 hours per week. They can also either work in a hospital, a clinic or other medical facilities like freestanding radiation centres.
Starting salary for Radiographers range from $50,000 per year and can reach up to $100,000 for senior professionals. Wages also differ from the level of skill and experience of each employee.
How to become a Radiographer
If you are thinking of joining the workforce, then you are at the right path. Australia offers a great range of Imaging education for those looking to be a Radiographer. These include bachelor’s degrees and training courses.
At the University of South Australia, they are offering degrees on Bachelor of Medical Radiation Science. These courses prepare students to become successful radiographer in the future. It offers subjects on the understanding of basic sciences, as well as he practice of Radiography. The four-year course will provide a holistic approach to the learning of the profession.