The position of the radiographer health and social care essay

The position of the radiographer health and social care essay

While radiography got its start in the 19th century, the profession of radiography in more recent years features emerged into an ever expanding field of great technology. Radiography is a relatively new health profession which has developed expansively over modern times. Advances that have resulted from an augmented make use of computer technology within healthcare and the technological developments achieved in medical equipment has caused the profession to experience growth that outweighs the recruitment of such pros. From tiny beginnings and a lack of formalised training or specialisation the job of radiography is continuing to grow in training, specialisation and responsibility. This career is at the cutting edge of scientific expansion, as these professionals continue to work with and specialise in the latest technologies within health care. Career opportunities for qualified radiographers are abundant nowadays and will continue being so in the future as demands of the skills for these healthcare pros escalate and the fields of specialisations and subspecialisations rise. This document reviews the creation of the career of radiography from its history to what it is today, and a glimpse into the future of this exciting and indispensable job.

In 1895, Wilhelm Roentgen discovered X-rays. The then unidentified rays (consequently the X) were in the near future used in many applications, industrially and medically. X-rays were released for diagnostic purposes right from the start. One month after the discovery, Europe and the United States managed to generate some medical radiographs which were then used to guide surgeons in their work. Only six months after Roentgen’s announcement of his discovery, X-rays had been applied by battlefield doctors to trace bullets in wounded soldiers. It required many years to develop the expert areas of radiography within medication based on the uncovered technology and as the occupation is well known today.

In over a hundred years since the discovery of X-rays, radiography has got metamorphosed from a scientific curiosity to an important part of medicine. Coinciding with radiography’s metamorphosis was a significant transformation in the tasks of the operators of the radiographic tools. The following is a summary account of the history of the job of radiography – how it started out, how it became a profession, and its developments right up to a decade ago.

Shortly after Roentgen’s discovery, there have been many commercial uses for the X-ray that were devised, some true plus some counterfeit, in an attempt to take advantage of the public’s curiosity in the brand new technology. Specialist photographers were a few of the first to buy and implement X-ray tools because radiography at that time was categorised as a type of photography (Dewing, 1962).

By the 1900s, many medical x-ray equipment was owned and managed by independent businessmen, incorporating chemists, engineers and electricians. Doctors would refer clients to these X-ray operators for analysis and treatment purposes.

As the necessities arose and X-ray testmyprep treatment and analysis became competent towards the 1910s, several medical doctors began to acquire their own X-ray machines to install in their medical offices. Some of the doctors were even qualified to specialise as radiologists. Although doctors operated the X-ray apparatus themselves in the beginning, advances in gear and strategy, quickly exceeded their ability to keep up plus they found that more of their time was consumed by the mechanics of the x-ray machine, leaving less time for patient care.

These doctors before long recognised that they required help with handling the set-up and procedure of the X-ray devices in order that they could concentrate on treating their sufferers. Receptionists and secretaries with no medical training were soon handed this of operating the machine and producing the film (Bell, 1948). Hospitals, treatment centers and small practises subsequently began employing their nurses as X-ray professionals, as nurses possessed some health background and training.

These initial technicians were expected not only to use the X-ray equipment, but also to execute routine machine repair (Allen, 1951). These technicians operated X-ray equipment prior to the hazards of ionizing radiation had been recognised and therefore endured great personal health expenses – including lack of limbs and even death. Positioning and exposure tactics were achieved by instinctive strategies by these emerging professionals (Pengelly, 1954) Nevertheless these instinctive methods applied by these technicians yielded outstanding radiographic photos. Insufficient procedural documentation avoided these techniques and successes to end up being duplicated by others that could follow.

There was no focus given to having less training or specialisation of X-ray technicians, before 1920s and by the 1950s formal education and standardised curriculum had been brought into take up. X-ray technicians were known as "radiologic technologists" for a better accent on professionalism. An instant progression of new technology caused a serious shortage of radiologic technologists in the overdue 1960s and early 1970s. Techniques such as for example computed tomography, mammography and sonography which were specialist knowledge were being commonplace, and there is great demand for skilled personnel.

In the 1990s because of increasing demands on radiologists (Swinburn,1971) alternative ways of delivering radiology services were sought, and the purpose of radiographers was re-examined.8 This was followed by new roles for radiographers which began to emerge in a variety of clinical areas in an effort to improve patient care and management.

As the profession of radiography graduated in roles and responsibilities it progressed into a medical technology that merged technology and caring. Radiographers had been soon expected to apply their knowledge to aid in the analysis and treatment of clients. The abilities of the profession included excellent interpersonal skills; a caring nature and curiosity in the well-appearing of others; pc and technical competence; solid problem-solving skills; strong sense of responsibility and workforce working skills. Technological developments pressured specialisation and radiographers had been rapidly acclaimed as paramedical professionals registered in specialised areas including the following:

Radiography: specialisation in the consumption of radiographic, radiation remedy and magnetic resonance apparatus to manage radiation treatment and produce images of overall body structures for the analysis and treatment of injury and disease.

Computerised Axial Tomography (CT): specialisation in the use of a rotating X-ray beam to scan within a narrow cross portion of the body.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): specialisation in the utilization of magnetism, radio waves and pcs to obtain medical images.

Nuclear Medicine: may be the specialisation in the application of radioactive materials to the medical diagnosis and operations of disease. It really is primarily a diagnostic specialty.

Positron Emission Tomography (Family pet): specialisation in the operation of emission tomography equipment that is used for measuring the concentrations of positron-emitting radioisotopes within the cells of living subjects.

Diagnostic Medical Sonography: specialisation in the operation of ultrasound equipment to create and record images of various areas of the body to produce an interpretive are accountable to aid doctors in diagnosing cardiac, obstetric or gynaecological, abdominal, vascular, ophthalmic and other disease states.

The Job of Radiography at Present

Radiographers today perform a pivotal purpose in the medical diagnosis of disease, and so are responsible for the examination of patients using radiation, ultrasound or magnetic areas. The following is a listing of examples of the task that is involved within this vast field:

Radiography involves interventional types of procedures like the removal of kidney stones and the insertion of stents to widen arteries.

Sometimes two or more image projections have to be decided on and taken to type a third dimension from two-dimensional X-ray images.

Radiographers also use pictures to show subtle pathological changes and changes in function of organs.

Radiographers use a variety of radiopaque ‘dyes’ or contrast agents to demonstrate soft tissue organs like the arteries (angiogram), bowel (barium studies) and kidneys (Intra-Venous Urogram) that aren’t visible on standard x-ray examination. Modern developments in imaging technology, such as for example ultrasound, MRI and other specialised imaging techniques have led to radiographers extending their understanding and skills that esoteric and specialised.

MRI specialists produce images in multiple planes and without the consumption of harmful ionising radiation. They picture the central nervous program, joints for sports injuries, etc.

Ultrasound specialists produce images in real-period and examine fetal development and measure blood flow and associated pathologies.

CT specialists image cross-sections of the body and utilize the computer improved image to detect very small

differences in attenuation extremely hard with conventional radiography.

Nuclear medical radiographers work with Radio Nuclide Imaging to emit gamma rays because they decay and label pharmaceuticals that will go to the organs to come to be imaged. For instance in the early recognition of bone tumours, characterising the function of selected organs like the heart and the kidneys.

The position of the radiographer within individual care has evolved substantially. Radiographers are taught and expected by health care systems to provide quality patient treatment. Radiographers handle patients of most ages, from the young patients to the elderly patients as well as patients with special necessities such as visual or hearing impairment. In addition they examine patients with a number of conditions, such as patients with a range of injuries or those who are terminally ill. They help prepare sufferers for radiographic examinations such as explaining the procedure, removing articles such as for example jewellery and watches that impede X-ray penetration, and location patients to ensure that the relevant parts of the body are correctly imaged or cared for. They must correctly position the gear used to diagnose or treat people with radiography and make sure that the correct angle and height are achieved relative to the relevant section of the patient’s body. They have to apply their know-how and skills to instruments with which the cross-sectional thickness of the portion to be radiographed are measured and be able to set controls on radiography machines to produce radiographs of the mandatory density, detail, and contrast. They develop images. These techniques of radiography are in conjunction with the opportunity to demonstrate compassion to people as they are put through diagnostic procedures and make sure that the mental and physical comfort and ease of the individual is always considered. Individuals require the radiographer to execute a prompt evaluation of their wants, both emotional and physical. A radiographer’s work extends beyond the confines of the imaging section. Patients may become too ill to visit and a home go to may be required. In the beginning of their profession radiographers spend a large amount of their time employed in the accident and crisis department working with injured people and liaising with additional clinical colleagues within a healthcare facility. Trips to the operating theatre to offer radiographic suggestions and assistance during the repair of damaged bones are part and parcel of their jobs at this time. Radiographers are typically obligated to follow physicians’ orders precisely and abide by regulations concerning utilization of radiation (Maryland Health Professions).

Problem-solving and critical-thinking expertise are a requirement for radiographers who do medical imaging procedures through the use of technical parameters that are dependent upon the procedures used to identify or deal with the patient’s state. The tasks of radiographers today are the program of physiology, anatomy, several radiographic techniques such as positioning, radiation science and radiation protection. Great communication skills are required to ensure effective connection with patients, healthcare experts and staff, and the public. The radiographers of today must conduct themselves with competence and with compassion when dealing with patients and patient attention. Radiographers are also required to manage patient information and manage the maintenance of the equipment found in radiology. Their tasks can also be to prepare function schedules and evaluate gear purchases. The profession as well extends to the analysis of equipment used in radiology, performance of top quality assurance programmes for radiography, education of sufferers and the management of a radiography department or a division of a section.

Radiation safety has become widespread and includes activities such as developing suitable monitoring instruments, physical controls, administrative types of procedures, monitoring radiation areas, staff monitoring, and radioactive waste material disposal. Radiographers nowadays concern themselves more than ever with the control of radiation contact to sufferers, themselves, and others. Equipment such as lead shields around the uncovered area are used by radiographers to avoid unnecessary radiation exposure.

As for technological advancements within the profession, impression quality is just a good example. The photos that are produced today are of top quality and greater image resolution through the utilization of top quality films with a larger variety of film grain sizes. Considerably more consistent film top quality is produced due to advancements in film advancements and by making techniques more automated. Images will be captured digitally through electronics and computers. Film-fewer radiography allows the capturing of a graphic, digitally enhancing the photo, sending the image anywhere in the world, and archiving an image that will not spoil as time passes. Smaller, lighter, and incredibly portable equipment that produce top quality X-rays have already been managed by technological advancements. Generating extremely brief wavelength, highly penetrating radiation, can be done nowadays with linear accelerators.

Career advancements within radiography are constantly taking place. Progressively more opportunities now exists for post-graduate qualifications, equipping radiographers to record on the images produced, deliver intravenous injections and carry out barium enema examinations. Different postgraduate courses provide lines of specialisation and subspecialisation (for e.g. MRI, ultrasound and nuclear medicine). Career prospects in the individual and health and wellness sectors are both designed for radiographers. Senior radiographers can also be involved in being in charge of capital and earnings expenditure and human source management. Teaching and research are also career avenues and producers employ radiographers as program specialists. Learners training in this career may specialise within an aspect of radiography or follow professions in education, research, consultation, or administration within radiography. The extensive growth intensive growth in this job has resulted in many new career chances. The profession right now includes many selections and decisions.

Be it the development of x-ray images to identify bone fracture or the administration of radiation remedy in tumor treatment, etc. radiographers today affords clients with the care they want in the analysis, treatment, and cure of their conditions.

The Future of Radiography

Computers are gradually becoming a portion of radiographic inspection even if the basis of the techniques and tactics of radiography that were developed over a century ago remain in use. A lot more radiography is conducted without the application of film which will continue steadily to change.

Radiographers will be needed in the future to fully capture images in digitised contact form and e-mailed them to doctors. The analysis of film will likely be left to computer systems. A digitised image could be captured, fed right into a computer and printed by the radiographer. Three-dimensional pictures will be simulated based on a scan, supporting the radiographer appropriately diagnose or treat the condition.

It may be possible to uncover a component layer by layer so as to measure the compositions or cross-sections at length. Colour images, similar to computer generated ultrasonic C-scans, will make interpretation of indications rise reliability and reduce time spent.

Educational techniques and resources are because of be updated to accommodate technology. Computer aided design and style (CAD) will be utilized to simulate radiographic pictures and used to stage and select the relevant areas or cross-sections to examine, to fine-tune the positioning and orientation of the relevant area to acquire the correct part relationships, and adjust settings to accomplish desired film publicity for the development or post processing of radiographic photos. Computer simulation allows students to utilize and visualise real-period or almost real-time data and images and could become the primary educational device for in the technical classroom.

Radiographers may later on be required to be expert with the application form and use of computers and software in imaging. Fields of specialisation may also expand with the raised make use of technology. Tomorrow’s pros will be required to better understand the medical context of examinations and procedures, interact more straight with patients, carry out imaging research and be truly qualified in a sub-specialised field.


In conclusion, the discovery of radiography possesses impacted the medical job in a significant way. Pioneer radiography technicians operated equipment with little education or training and sometimes at a price to their health and life. From tiny beginnings of a job that was merely referred to as "machine operator" radiography is continuing to grow in leaps and bounds to the leading edge profession it is today. This document has successfully examined the revolution within this profession. The future of radiography remains prominent and can undergo further improvements, the most obvious becoming the computerisation of techniques and analysis.

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