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MBT – Diagnostic Radiographer

My name is Dunja Vasiljevic. I’m 24, and I am a
diagnostic radiographer. What I do on a daily
basis is x-rays. I go to operating theatres, I may work in CT, which is a cross-sectional study
of the human body, or maybe in adult emergency or paediatric emergencies. We take the images
and we make sure the anatomy is well-aligned, and make sure
that the quality is good, because if the quality of a film
is not good, it can sometimes
misdiagnose a patient and give a wrong pathology. We do the technical
side of things, we’ll operate the machinery. We move around quite a bit
in our work, sometimes we’re on
our feet all day, you can never predict it, don’t
know what’s gonna happen next. Computer tomography
is different to normal x-rays, because computer tomography is
actually a cross-sectional
study, so the patient will go in on a
table and go through a gantry, through a tube
that’s gonna rotate and take a few
images in one slice. And it’s much better clarity of the organs and tissues, whereas plain x-rays is mainly for bones
and plain breaks. A lot more of CTs
are being requested these days, because they give much
better clarity than x-rays, depending on what
you’re looking for. A lot of people don’t know much about our profession,
and they’re really… they’re a bit scared
of radiation. Well, we are being monitored, we wear these badges, they
measure how much radiation you
get, to make sure
that it’s all in safe limits. We stand behind a lead screen, we also wear lead gowns,
and lead stops the radiation. I always knew that I wanted to
work in a hospital environment, but I didn’t know
what I wanted to do. I was interested in healthcare, and I just saw radiography, and it looked a bit challenging
to get in. And I thought,
‘OK, I’ll give it a go.’ I didn’t know much about it. There’s a lot of anatomy,
it’s very detailed, and physics, but once I got through it,
I was pretty happy, once I started doing practicals and going to hospitals and
seeing what actually happens, I was quite happy to stay there
and do it and finish it. It’s only a three-year degree, which I found attractive, and I had a job before I
finished my final exams. This course is actually
internationally recognised, so you can pretty much go
anywhere in the world and work. If anyone’s interested in doing
radiography from high school, I’d advise them
to do some science subjects, some maths, physics, have good communication skills and be able to keep up
with always-changing technology, and be a good team worker, as well as being able
to work individually. It could be a job for life, there’s so many different areas
that you can do. I mean, you never get bored – you can go and specialise
and do MRI or ultrasound, just depends what you like. Radiography is a huge part
of research, huge, so it’s always developing
and constantly changing. Special skills for this work – I guess you’d have to be
a good decision-maker, and lateral thinking, and really good knowledge
of anatomy and physics, and be a good communicator – a
lot of patients may be anxious, and they don’t know –
I mean, they come here and it looks pretty scary
with all the equipment, and they don’t know
what’s going to happen, so you just have to relieve
their stress and just explain to
them a lot of procedures
are just really harmless and not painful at all. So you just have to be good
in that respect. There is a strong demand, and
a lot of people go, you know, overseas and work for a bit
and then come back. They can still have a pretty
much guaranteed job when they
come back. The best bit about my job is helping others
and monitoring their progress and just being able to make
a difference in someone’s life. OK, we’re just about to start, so make sure you hold
nice and still now. At the moment
I’m pretty happy with it, because there’s so many avenues that I can still go and learn and better myself
in that respect. But I’m not sure
what’s gonna happen! I’d say if I’m happy with it, I’ll stick with it
and see how we go.

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