A radiographer is a health professional who receives specialized training in imaging modalities and innovative medical technology and acquires a professional certification/ license from a renowned professional body (e.g., the Society of Radiographers). The field of radiography revolves around advanced scientific technology and human consideration. This essay intends to unveil the professional role, responsibilities, effective communication, and ethical conduct of an efficient radiographer.
A radiographer deals directly with the patient and technological diagnostic equipment to produce radiological images. Radiographers’ foremost duty is to obtain consent from their patients to start their particular scanning/ examination. The extensive knowledge of Human Anatomy, Physics, Radiology, and Physiology is used by Radiographers to create permanent radiological images to help in the medical treatment/ diagnosis of the disease/ injury of patients. A radiologist directly deals with the technological equipment and patients to create radiological images to facilitate the doctors/ physicians for better medical examination. A radiographer has to ensure the consent of the patient and make him entirely aware of the medical procedure before the examination. The radiographer operates diagnostic equipment such as ultrasound, X-ray, Computerized Tomography (CT), and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) skills to report and review the scanned radiological images to facilitate the medical staff. He/she must have updated knowledge of diagnostic technology because technology is evolving in the medical field. A professional radiologist requires a recognized associate degree in radiological technology/ equipment and a legal license to perform radiological diagnoses for patients in a medical setting.
A professional radiologist must adhere to strict safety procedures/ protocols while using any radiological equipment. All the security and medical protocols should be followed. As the patient’s examination data (images or videos) are recorded, it should be kept confidential and only shared with the concerned healthcare professional. Therefore, professional behavior should be the prime focus of any efficient radiographer. Interaction and effective communication are significant components of an efficient radiographer. A professional radiographer should interact with their patient, medical co-workers, and fellow radiographers in imaging modalities, scanning, and diagnosing/ treating the problem. A radiographer must have a welcoming personality to create a comfortable and positive environment for positive communication with the patient. Medical diagnosis, treatment, procedure outcome, and further treatment decisions immensely depend upon interaction and effective communication between the radiographer, patient, and the concerned doctor. Effective communication should include professional (ethical) behavior, confidentiality, and teamwork ability.
In a nutshell, a radiographer must have interactive communication, and professional behavior, fulfill all responsibilities, and have ethical etiquette while using medical equipment for scanning radiological images. An efficient radiographer should fulfill clinical, professional, legal, and ethical duties while practicing in a clinical setting.
American College of Radiology (2008) ACR practice guideline for the communication of diagnostic imaging findings. In: 2008 Practice Guidelines & Technical Standards. American College of Radiology, Reston, pp 3–8