What is a radiographer? Everything you need to know about working as a UK radiographer

What is a radiographer?

A radiographer is an Allied Health Professional who uses x-rays, or other forms of imaging, to produce pictures of patients to help diagnose medical conditions.

There are a variety of types of radiographers and imaging techniques that may be used, including but not exclusive to CT, MRI, cardiac, and breast screening.

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Responsibilities of a radiographer

  • Receiving messages from medical practitioners and deciding which type of imaging is appropriate for the request
  • Explaining the process to patients, as well as accurately positioning the patient’s body and make sure the radiation levels are safe
  • Taking the best image possible to diagnose a patient’s medical situation appropriately
  • Developing the film or processing digital images and ensuring images are stored correctly
  • Working in A&E and trauma units, i.e. working with injured patients
  • Capturing images during operations
  • Using specialist equipment such as fluoroscopy or angiography
  • Working varying hours across a 24/7 shift pattern; long days, short days, night shifts, on-call
  • Working together as a team with support workers, assistants, radiologists and oncologists during multiple phases (screening, diagnosis, treatment, monitoring) of patient trauma and disease care

Where can radiographers work?

Radiographers can work in a variety of different medical sectors, including:

  • NHS hospitals
  • Private hospitals
  • Community hospitals
  • Private clinics
  • Mobile vans
  • Mortuaries
  • Universities

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What qualifications does a radiographer need?

To practise as a registered radiographer in the UK, you’ll need:

  • BSc in Diagnostic Radiography, or equivalent degree recognised by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)
  • Registration with HCPC
  • Relevant post-graduate degree in specialist areas, such as medical ultrasound or breast screening.

What is a radiographer’s salary?

  • Band 5: £28,407 to £34,581
  • Band 6: £35,392 to £42,618
  • Band 7: £43,742 to £50,056

To qualify for higher bands, you would need to have:

  • Relevant post-graduate degree or experience for the specialist areas
  • General Radiography will pay at Band 6, with specialist areas such as MRI, CT, breast screening and cath lab, for example, paying Band 7

Working as a locum radiographer

There are certain benefits that come with working as a locum radiographer compared to a full-time role. These include:

  • Greater flexibility with hours
  • Paid per hour worked
  • Increased rate
  • 1 weeks’ notice if you wish is to try a different role
  • Weekly payments
  • Ability to work nights and weekends with uplifts

Locum radiographer pay rates

  • Band 5: £18-20 per hour
  • Band 6: £21-26 per hour
  • Band 7: £25-30 per hour

Note: London rates may be higher.

How to become a radiographer with Pulse

Ready for the next step in your radiographer career? Register your interest in radiographer opportunities or start your search and application with available radiography jobs on Pulse.

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