Radiation physics and radiation safety physics

Different forms of radiation are used in the diagnosis and treatment of patients.

If you work in radiation physics and radiation safety physics, you will be responsible for ensuring that this equipment is safe, both for patients and staff.

Overview

Radiation, including x-rays, radioactive materials, lasers and ultraviolet radiation is used by the NHS as a vital part of:

Working life

You might work in radiation physics or develop your career further into radiation safety physics.

Working in this area of healthcare science, you’ll use specialised equipment to measure and calculate the doses of radiation received by patients during treatment and by the staff delivering it.

You’ll survey the working environment and monitor the performance of equipment to ensure that it is complying with stringent regulations.

As a clinical scientist, you may act as a radiation protection adviser or radioactive waste adviser, setting policy and implementing quality standards for the use of radiation and radioactive materials.

'The common perception of a physicist far removed from people didn’t appeal to me. I love the variety and interaction with clinical staff and the general public.' - Richard Fernandez, clinical scientist, department of medical physics

Read Richard's story

Who will I work with?

You'll typically be based in the medical physics department of an acute (hospital) trust and will work as part of a team that includes radiologists, therapeutic and diagnostic radiographers and other healthcare science staff working in medical physics and clinical engineering.

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