Diagnostic radiographers use the latest technology to look inside the body in different ways.
This page has information about the role of a diagnostic radiographer with links to further information.
You'll use a range of imaging technology and techniques to work out what disease or condition is causing a patient’s illness, including:
- x-ray to look through tissues to examine bones, cavities and foreign objects
- fluoroscopy to see a real time image of the digestive system
- CT (computed tomography) which provides views of cross-sections of the body
- MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) to build a 2D or 3D map of the different tissue types within the body
- ultrasound to check circulation and examine the heart as well as in antenatal work
- angiography to investigate blood vessels
In the NHS, you're likely to work in the radiology and imaging departments of hospitals to capture, interpret images and report your findings. You'll provide a service for most departments within the hospital including accident and emergency, outpatients, operating theatres and wards. You may work in private clinics and hospitals.
As well working with other health professionals including healthcare scientists working in non-ionising imaging, you may supervise the work of radiography assistants or imaging support assistants.
Want to learn more?
- Find out more about the entry requirements and training required to become a diagnostic radiographer.
- Find out more about non-ionising imaging
- Pay and conditions Expand / Collapse
Radiographers in the NHS work standard hours, which are likely to be around 37.5 a week. You may have to work shifts, including evenings, nights and weekends. You'll start at band 5 of the Agenda for Change pay scale.
Terms and conditions will vary outside of the NHS.
- Where the role can lead Expand / Collapse
Once qualified, you may join the Society of Radiographers. You'll have to keep your skills and knowledge up to date with annual CPD (continuing professional development). The Society of Radiographers runs courses, conferences and seminars where radiographers can exchange ideas and update their skills.
You could specialise in a particular type of imaging such as computerised tomography scanning or sonography. Or you could specialise in working with children, stroke patients or cancer patients, for example. Research or teaching are other options.
You could also move into management, within radiography services or general management. As head of a local radiography service you would be responsible for a team of staff and for managing a budget.
There may be opportunities to work overseas.
- Job market and vacancies Expand / Collapse
The Society of Radiographers advertises job vacancies on its website. The Society says that there is a steadily growing demand for radiographers.
If you're applying for a role either directly in the NHS or in an organisation that provides NHS services, you'll be asked to show how you think the NHS values apply in your everyday work. The same will be true if you are applying for a university course funded by the NHS.
- Further information Expand / Collapse