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Industry Insight: Careers in Care (Radiography)

Industry Insight: Careers in Care (Radiography)

A standard day is based around working in
different parts of the department, depending where you are listed to. I spend most of my
time in General, so I spend a lot of time working with different patients. You’re with
them only for a short period of time, between 5 and 15 minutes with each patient. You’re
trying to get the best diagnostic images that you can, you’re trying to help the patient out
as best you can. For me it’s the mix between technology and
working with people. I learnt early on that I don’t want to be stuck in an office, I don’t
want to sit behind a desk, I don’t want to be stuck in one place very static, in this
job I get to move around- I walk about 6 miles a day. Fortunately my father did. He reminds me every
time I see him that it was his idea. Radiography caught my eye and that’s when I noticed it,
and lead down this path. Initially I worked as a shipping clerk, so
sort of as an office junior really, playing with lots of giant files and dealing with
boats. I got the chance to go to China doing that, so I worked in China for about 6 months
in Shanghai, which was great, but I quickly realised I didn’t want to sit behind that
desk. I was really fed up with that. So I came back, tried my hand at Air Traffic Controlling,
I did that, that’s amazingly stressful so I decided to stay well away from that. That’s
when my father pointed me this out to me and I ended up in university doing this. I went to university to do a Radiographic
and Diagnostic Imaging degree, which is 3 years long, in the UK. After that I can work
essentially doing what I do. Since then I’ve done several different qualifications, I’ve
done postgraduate qualifications in Forensic Radiography and Reporting Radiography so I
can look at x-rays and determine what’s going on in them, to see if there is broken bones
and so forth. I did the standard Maths, English, English
Lit, Science, it was two sciences at the time you had to do. I did Food Technology because
I like to cook food, because I like to eat it and then I did Drama because it was there
and something to do and I didn’t want to do Sports Studies because I hate PE. Communication, you’ve got to be able to talk
to people and you have to talk to people of all levels so you have to be able to talk
to an adult in a certain way as a patient or talk to a doctor in a certain way, and
then you have to be able to communicate with children as well, try to get them to relax
and calm down as quick as you can so you can get a good x-ray of them without stressing
them out. You need a good sense of spatial awareness,
not in a sense of what’s around you at the moment, but the idea of looking at a 2D image
and imagining it in a 3D space, and how that works especially looking at x-rays, imagining
how that sort of transforms into a persons body. I love the fact that I’m not sitting behind
a desk, that I’m meeting different people. I get to play with big toys like this and I get
to see what they can do. It’s just the scope, the size of it, there
is just so much you can do and I can work anywhere in the world to do it. There is always
demand for Radiographers, there will be endless demand for us, there is always work to do
somewhere. Getting my postgraduate in Reporting Radiography
was quite big for me, just because it was a lot of work and it was the thought of going
back to university again that I didn’t want to do. But I got through that which was quite
good. Yeah they all think I’m a nurse for some reason,
I don’t know why. Although some people see you, and because they see a man, they think
you’re automatically a doctor, but because I look like a nurse essentially, they all
call me nurse and it’s sort of a misconception of what radiographers do and what they are
and even what the term means. I’d say consider the pressure and the stress.
Make sure you’re happy with that sort of idea and you can deal with that on a day to day
basis. It can be long hours, we work days, nights, a 24 hour system basically, so you
can work 12-15 hour shifts. There are still some places in the UK working 21 hour shifts I believe. It was the going back to university, that
was the first thing for me just trying to get back into the mindset of sitting in lectures,
listening to someone talk to me and then going home and writing an essay, which I wasn’t too
happy about at first. But I got through that. Then the Honoraries with my first forensic case when they lead you into a dark mortuary and a dead body and tell you to get on with it, so that was a
bit challenging at first but again your professionalism kicks in and you sort of get used to it and
your training kicks in. Tough things will come along everyday at work
and at home, try not to let them stress you out too much because it never helps. It’s a good lifestyle really I suppose, I
can’t complain. I don’t worry about when the next paycheck is coming which is always good,
I know I’m always going to have work and I’m never going to run out of work. There are loads of radiographers I know that
work over in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, there’s a lot of jobs in the Middle East-
you can go anywhere you want to with it. My wife makes me smile, and probably my two
greyhounds when they go a bit loopy on the beach.

8 comments on “Industry Insight: Careers in Care (Radiography)

  1. Maybe it is different in the United States, but a Radiologist is the doctor. We are Radiologic Technologist, not Radiologist.

  2. This guy is so funny haha 😀
    I managed to get a place for Diagnostic Radiography recently.
    I am so excited to start!
    I am also super excited about writing essays even… is that normal?

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