Radiographer Job Description

(formerly called a Radiologic Technologist or X-Ray Technologist)

A Radiographer is a healthcare professional who possesses the knowledge and skills to utilize diagnostic level x-radiation and their associated instrumentation in the production of medical images of the human body and in the performance of radiologic procedures.  Supervision is provided by Radiologists who are medical physicians with the specialization in the interpretation of radiologic images.  The Radiographer is responsible for positioning the patient properly into the beam of the radiation source and adjusting the proper exposure techniques for the optimum image resolution with the least radiation exposure to the patient.

The Radiographer is also responsible for placing proper immobilization devices and protective shielding on the patient and taking any protective measures for themselves and all other personnel in the radiation area.  The length and time of exposure is calculated by the Radiographer for the diagnosis and/or treatment of the affected area.

Administration of drugs and the preparation of chemical mixtures for the visualization of radiographic structures is also required.  Observation of the patient for any adverse reactions to these chemical mixtures is also a required behavior.

The Radiographer uses the proper size image receptor and technically adjusts it so as to record the maximum visualization of an anatomic structure.  The primary concern during the procedure is the lessening of discomfort for the patient through the examination.  The Radiographer then develops the image and is responsible for distinguishing acceptable radiographs for the Radiologist to interpret.  The preparation and maintaining of records and reports is a vital concern for the Radiographer.  Minor maintenance of the equipment, cleaning of the equipment, and reporting of any equipment malfunctions are also necessary duties of the Radiographer.

After graduating, the Radiographer may specialize in one or more of the advanced modalities (e.g. Sonography, Mammography, Nuclear Medicine, Radiation Therapy, CT Scanning, Magnetic Resonance, Bone Densitometry, etc.).  The Radiographer x-rays and works with healthy, sick, and disabled people in emergency situations, hospitals, clinics, private medical offices, or industrial environments.  The Radiographer provides basic medical care and assists with emergency patient treatment as a member of the healthcare team.  The examinations performed may be done so under sterile conditions so as to not increase the likelihood of infection to the patient, other medical personnel, themselves, or the general populace outside of the medical setting.  The Radiographer is often on emergency call 24-hours a day.

The preceding job description was a synthesis from the following sources:
    a.     The Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT)
    b.     The U.S. Department of Labor
    c.     The Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) Manual
    d.     The U.S. Department of Commerce
    e.     Job Descriptions and Organizational Analysis for Hospitals