Empowering Radiographers In Saudi Arabia


The radiographer’s image interpretation remains unlicensed in Saudi Arabia as in other parts of Middle East. The role of leadership in radiology is narrow in Saudi Arabia. However, in comparison, this role’s implementation is widespread in the developed countries that have been confirmed by a number of previous studies (Kawooya, 2008).

In the field of radiology, the two main professionals are the radiologist and the radiographer. The Radiologist is a doctor who is a graduate from Medicine College following which he studied four years in radiology in the field of pathology and the way of recognizing the pathology. The radiologist is responsible for writing reports for every radiology images. The Radiographer, on the other hand, is a graduate from paramedical college and is responsible for scanning the patient following sending the images to the radiologist to write the report for this patients.


The implementation for this project is the change orchestrated by the radiographers writing the report instead of the radiologists to write them and where precious time is wasted to wait for the radiologists to write the reports. This can be done with help of training imparted to the radiographers and teaching them about the pathologies so that it becomes easier for them to write the reports and to curtail the load from the radiologist so it will be more beneficial for the organization with radiographers as the reporters.

However, there are some risks involved in implementing these changes. Firstly, it is expensive to impart training and education to the radiographers. Secondly, to facilitate infrastructure can be difficult such as to arrange the training facility, hiring trainers, and ensuring that the radiographers are up to the mark to write reports as per the required standards (Buchan and Dal Poz, 2002). Thirdly, obtain a favorable cost benefit ratio to equip the radiographer to write the reports (Nederhof, 1985).

To implement this change, the styles of leadership (transactional and transformation) and the internal and external drivers in the forms of SWOT and PESTEL analysis are carried out in details with respect to radiographers writing the report instead of the radiologists. Lewin’s model of change which has three-stage process: Unfreeze, Moving and Refreeze is also used to substantiate the aim of the study.


Apparently, the kind of management required in this project has been in the developmental level because not many examples can be found in Saudi Arabia showing radiographers writing pathological reports instead of the radiologists. This lacking of leadership is especially in relation to transformational and transactional leadership traits and skills (Balthazard et al., 2012). The linkages between the transactional and transformational leadership skills and the outcomes of the workplace are well established in Saudi Arabia (Akroyd et al., 2009). The increase in the organizational commitment, improvement in the mental health of the employee, employee satisfaction and the increase in the willingness of exerting significant effort on the organization’s behalf usually are positive impacts of transactional and transformational leadership. Kouzes and Posner’s (2003) contention in this context is particularly significant that the teaching and application of leadership can be in any leadership situation. This philosophy is on the basis of 25 years of data and research of more than 3 million leaders.

The leadership required in the context of the change in the organization has some strength in terms of organizational outcomes such as saving of time, saving of cost, and larger number of customers entertained, good reputation and skills of the radiographers, and provision of timely online access to the report and imaging (Coleman and Piper, 2009). The weakness includes poorer perception and expectation of the customers in terms of quality of the reports, while the threats remain with the challenge of radiographers trained well enough to produce reports as good as that of the radiologists and the opportunities are better return of investment, higher turnover, more profitability (Drucker, 2007).

The political factors that can affect the change is the PACS prices decline and increased digital solution affordability, while on the other hand the increased appeal of the digital solutions of the radiology scanning forms the economic factor (Bass and Bass, 2008). The radiographers while scanning and writing reports should also take in account the end users capability of investing in DR and CR technology while the increased chance of outsourcing due to dearth of radiologists are the social and environmental factors respectively (Bell, 2010). The scope of digital imaging also is an important technological consideration of the radiographers.

A high level approach to change can be managed by Kurt Lewin change theory model. I should go ahead with radical changes in integrating the role of the radiographers with that of the radiologists where the radiographers will both scan and write reports (Hackman and Wageman, 2007). However, in doing so, the radiology operation’s structure should not be disrupted and ensuring that this change is long lasting and permanent. This three step process can be described as Unfreeze-Change-Freeze model of Kurt Lewin.

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  • Akroyd, D., Legg, J., Jackowski, M. and Adams, R. (2009) ‘The impact of selected organizational variables and managerial leadership on radiation therapists’ organizational commitment’, Radiography, 15(2), 113-120.
  • Balthazard, P., Waldman, D. A., Thatcher, R. W. and Hannah, S. T. (2012) ‘Differentiating transformational and non-transformational leaders on the basis of neurological imaging’, The Leadership Quarterly, 23(2), 244-258.
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