Radiography assistants and imaging support workers
Radiography assistants and imaging support workers help radiographers diagnose and treat patients.
This page has information on the role of the radiography assistant, including entry requirements and skills needed.
Diagnostic radiographers use imaging to work out which disease or condition is causing a patient’s illness and therapeutic radiographers use doses of x-rays and other ionising radiation to treat medical conditions - mainly cancer and tumours.
As a radiography assistant or imaging support worker, you'll work with both types of radiographer to:
- process film images
- order stocks of consumable items
- help with procedures such as biopsies
- make sure the working environment is clean and hygienic
- prepare patients for treatment, including lifting patients
- check the equipment and report faults
- input data
Who will I work with?
Radiography assistants and imaging support workers work closely with diagnostic radiographers and therapeutic radiographers, medical physicists, engineers, doctors, nurses and other health professionals.
Where will I work?
In the NHS, most radiography assistants and imaging support workers work in hospitals. They provide a service for most departments within the hospital including accident and emergency, outpatients, operating theatres and wards.
Some radiography assistants and imaging support workers work in private clinics and hospitals.
There are no set entry requirements for radiography assistants and imaging support workers. Employers expect good numeracy, literacy and IT skills. They may ask for GCSEs or equivalent. Employers may ask for a healthcare qualification, such as BTEC or NVQ.
Employers often ask for relevant work experience. Even where this is not specified, it would be an advantage if you have worked in health or social care, either in paid employment or voluntary work.
Personal characteristics and skills required
Radiography assistants and imaging support workers need to be:
- very safety conscious
- interested in technology
- calm and reassuring
- able to understand and follow instructions exactly
- physically fit as the job involves a lot of standing and lifting
You'll also need
- good communication skills
- good observation skills
- ability to keep up to date and learn new skills
Training and development
You will receive the training you need to work as a radiography assistant or imaging support worker. This includes:
- an introduction to the department and its systems and procedures
- using the equipment
- health and safety
You may be able to study for the Certificate in Clinical Imaging Support (at level 2 or 3).
Some radiography assistants and imaging support workers join the Society of Radiographers. The Society runs training events and conferences so radiography assistants and imaging support workers can update their skills and network with others doing similar work.
- Pay and conditions Expand / Collapse
Radiography assistants and imaging support workers working in the NHS are paid on the Agenda for Change (AfC) pay system. You would typically start on AfC band 3. With further training and experience, you could apply for positions as an assistant practitioner at band 4.
Radiography assistants and imaging support workers in the NHS work standard hours of around 37.5 a week. They may have to work shifts, including evenings, nights and weekends.
Terms and conditions will usually be different for radiography assistants and imaging support workers working outside of the NHS.
- Where the role can lead Expand / Collapse
- Job market and vacancies Expand / Collapse
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.
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