Looking at what lies beneath

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 16 April, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 16 April, 2009, 12:00am

Requirements: Like all medical workers, diagnostic radiographers have to be caring and tolerant with patients who are in pain or are worried about their health.

The majority of the work involves machines, so an interest in technology is an advantage. Being physically fit is also important as radiographers often need to help patients move into the appropriate position for the images to be taken.

Qualifications: Only Polytechnic University currently offers a bachelor's degree in radiography. After one year of general studies, students can choose to enter the diagnostic radiographer or the radiotherapist stream.

Average salary: Diagnostic radiographer's salaries start at around HK$20,000. Senior radiographers can make about HK$60,000 to HK$70,000.

Work prospects: The main duty of diagnostic radiographers is to produce clear images of patients so doctors can accurately diagnose their illnesses.

Before going through the imaging procedure, patients may have to take medication or refrain from eating for a certain period. It is the radiographer's duty to explain and remind patients of the dos and don'ts of the process.

Newly qualified radiographers must first familiarise themselves with the way the machines work and the way the clinic is run.

Working in a hospital can be very different from working in a clinic.

Patients in hospitals can be really ill. They are very weak and need assistance to position themselves when having X-rays taken. Patients who go to clinics tend to be in better condition and require less help.

Radiographers are in constant contact with radioactive devices and substances, so they carry a dosimeter to ensure levels of radioactivity are not dangerous.

Radiography technology is constantly changing. It is important to be self-motivated and keep up to date with changes in knowledge and technology.

Long-term prospects: As diagnostic radiographers become more experienced, they will be more involved in management and administrative duties and less involved with patients. Some go on to become university lecturers.

Where to apply: Hospital Authority, private clinics