Information for Patients – Diagnostic Radiography
Information for patients on the profession
The diagnostic imaging department includes a range of staff who are there to support you with a quality service during your diagnostic procedure. For all diagnostic procedures, you will be assisted by a diagnostic radiographer.
Diagnostic radiographers use a range of techniques to achieve a high-quality diagnostic image which aids in the diagnosis of an injury or disease. An important aspect of their role is to provide this service in a safe, accurate and controlled manner so as to limit the radiation exposure risk to the patient.
The main focus of diagnostic radiography is to identify and monitor injuries, diseases and trauma. These services are provided 24 hours a day and use a variety of techniques to achieve this. They include:
- X-radiation (X-Rays) is used to examine bones for abnormalities. They can also examine the digestive system using live motion imaging (fluoroscopy) or the blood vessels by means of live motion angiography. These live imaging procedures require the use of contrast agents.
- Computed Tomography (CT) is a diagnostic tool which provides cross-sectional images of the body which can then be reconstructed using computer software to form a 3D image.
- Nuclear Medicine examines the function of the organs and the body by using of radioactive tracers which are injected prior to the scan.
Many diagnostic radiographers are also qualified and trained in diagnostic procedures which do not use radiation. These include:
- Ultrasound which uses high frequency sound to produce diagnostic images. This is an increasingly used technique in areas of obstetrics, gynaecology, abdominal, vascular and musculoskeletal cases.
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) which provides cross-sectional images of the body. These can be reconstructed to 3D images.