Radiography: A Career
As a diagnostic radiographer, you will have a core role in the modern healthcare setting. Radiographers are regulated professionals who are registered with CORU (Ireland’s multi-profession health regulator), and are entitled to hold one of the protected titles Radiographer or Diagnostic Radiographer.
You will work as part of a multi-disciplinary team, using a range of imaging technologies to enable diagnosis, assessment and treatment that would otherwise be impossible. As a radiographer, you will have the technical expertise and understanding to use these advancing technologies to best effect.
Diagnostic radiographers use a range of imaging modalities to provide the diagnostic information needed to diagnose and treat patients. The examinations will be requested by doctors or other approved healthcare staff, but your skills and knowledge will ensure that the most appropriate imaging techniques are employed. You will ensure the requested examination is justified and that the patient has the appropriate examination. You’ll have important interaction with patients, putting them at their ease and preparing them for the X-ray or scan. You may also need to discuss the images with the doctors to assist in diagnosis.
Modern radiology is a rapidly advancing profession, with ongoing development across the wide range of imaging modalities, and many radiology departments now avail of digital technology in diagnostic imaging. Although you will mainly be based in a hospital’s imaging department, advances in technology mean that radiography can now be performed on wards, in surgery, with mobile screening services in the community, as well as in the Emergency Department, where the speed and clarity of results can save lives.
Post qualification you may decide to follow a career path according to a combination of your personal interests and the needs of healthcare services and patients. Ultrasound, Computed Tomography, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Interventional Radiology, Nuclear Medicine, Cardiac Catheterisation, Mammography and PACS are just some of the post graduate specialties available.
Examples of where these specialties are used (and potentially interact) include;
- Ultrasound to assess blood flow in an artery,
- Computed Tomography to detect and localise a blood clot on the brain in acute ischemic stroke
- Interventional radiology using image guided technology to remove the clot,
The core skills of a radiographer are not just about the technology. You will need to be versatile, patient, diplomatic and flexible, be a good team player, able to react quickly and professionally in an emergency, dealing with and caring for people of all ages and abilities.
Irish radiographers are widely regarded for their excellent training and innovative career paths. The IIRRT actively works to support extension of the scope of practice of radiographers., through education, training, and audit of practice.
Education of Diagnostic Radiographers in Ireland
University College Dublin (UCD) offers an undergraduate BSc (Hons) (NFQ Level 8) https://www.ucd.ie/medicine/studywithus/undergraduatecourses/radiography/
University College Cork offers a Graduate entry MSc in Diagnostic Radiography https://www.ucc.ie/en/ckx26/
University College Galway offers a Graduate entry MSc/PDip in Multidisciplinary Radiology http://www.nuigalway.ie/courses/taught-postgraduate-courses/multidisciplinary-radiology.html