Diagnostic radiography careers

A brief guide

What is diagnostic radiography?

Diagnostic radiography is an important tool for diagnosing and monitoring disease. It uses a variety of modalities, from x-rays to ultrasound scanning.

What qualifications do I need to become a diagnostic radiographer?

You'll need to complete an honours degree programme and will then be eligible to apply for registration with the Health Care Professions Council (HCPC).

Registration's mandatory if you want to work in the NHS.

What does a diagnostic radiographer do?

Diagnostic radiographers use a range of complex technologies to produce medical images that help with the diagnosis and monitoring of injury and disease. They're also experts at evaluating and interpreting images.

You'll find them working in many healthcare settings, including imaging departments, A&E, hospital wards, operating theatres and clinics. They deal with patients of all ages and with many conditions.

What are their areas of expertise?

Generally they'll be trained to use X Ray imaging techniques, but they may have developed other specialisms, such as ultrasound, computed tomography, nuclear medicine or magnetic resonance imaging.

Along with equipment skills, they have a thorough understanding of health and disease, anatomy and physiology, and what it takes to put patients at ease.

What about the career prospects?

Diagnostic radiography offers excellent long-term career prospects, in the NHS, private healthcare and academia.

You could choose to specialise in different imaging technologies, conditions or patient groups and there are always new developments to learn. People also move into management, research and education.

It's possible to work overseas, as your qualification is accepted in many countries and as a professional in demand there's scope to work part-time.