Future Roles of Radiographers in Evolving Healthcare

Role of a Radiographer from a Future Perspective

The continuous advancement of new technology in the health sector will catalyse the changes in functional roles of radiographers in a number of healthcare systems. Radiographers’ roles are expanding as the healthcare field gets acquainted with new technological advancement, and therefore, there is need for relevant training to match the patients’ demands and office equipment. The radiographers’ roles are expanding whereas some are getting education pertaining to image reading. The future changes in radiographers’ roles will, therefore, integrate the expansion of the practice scope alongside an elevated essence of responsibility and accountability for optimal healthcare outcomes (Hetherington et al., 2018). This essay intends to examine the futuristic roles of radiographers in the healthcare setting characterised by technological and patients-need dynamism.

Advanced radiography consists of vital departments including consultant radiographers, reporting radiographers, and the ones dealing with extensive roles in ultrasound and angiography. The roles of radiographers are changing with the spinning wheel of time. As the patients’ needs change over time, so does the radiotherapy practices especially the demand for imaging services (Nightingale, Hardy, and Snaith, 2018 pp.289-297). According to the United Kingdom Society of Radiographers, there are two main transitions which will impact the future roles of radiographers. These developments consist of molecular imaging and the joining together of diagnostics with therapeutics. The radiographers will need mastery of skills to be able to compute these roles effectively. The future roles will be to acquire images, understand how the acquired images ought to appear, and the entire practice of how molecular imaging works. The Society of Radiographers emphasized for the need of education and training which will equip the radiographers with the necessary skills to propagate the changes. The role of these radiographers at the practitioner ground will be structured along existing service needs, especially in the propagation of sound clinical work within the domain of radiotherapy and diagnostic imaging. The radiographers will need to upgrade their roles to develop mastery of skills related to anatomical, care pathways, pathological and physiological systems, imaging techniques, and treatment modalities. Skills along the line of management, research, teaching, and learning will equally be instrumental to the radiographers of the day (Nightingale, Hardy, and Snaith, 2018 pp.289-297).

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As an advanced practitioner, the roles of a radiographer will evolve around demonstrating expert clinical processes for the purpose of securing service delivery with high quality. The fundamental function will be to engage in professional clinical practice for the delivery of high healthcare services and focused patient care in Therapeutic Radiography and Diagnostic Imaging, or related functions in education and research, or service management. According to Hetherington et al., 2018, the advanced radiographer’s roles “will integrate other supporting functions which will encompass professional leadership, development of clinical work and services, research, development, and education and training” (Malamateniou, 2017). The roles of radiographers will greatly improve the patients’ pathways and increase the capacity of service delivery. The advanced radiographers ought to be accredited for more elevated outcomes and to ensure there will be countrywide coherence and consistence in the overall standards of radiotherapy practice. The accreditation will equally ensure the standards set are transferable across the practice, and take cognizance of the achievements realised (Hetherington et al., 2018). The patients and the general public are optimistic that the radiographers will possess the required abilities to deal with the dynamic situations at hand. There will be need for the radiographers to shift practice, to orient themselves with home patients’ needs which support patient-centred care. The radiographers will be expected to deliver competent services in the field of ultrasound, oncology, radiation protection, and image interpretation and reporting.

Many advanced practitioners will take roles as service managers and leaders; and continually develop the future workforce. As leaders, the radiographers will further inspire and strengthen the links between the training and education providers which will advance the educational component within the healthcare system (Hetherington et al., 2018). Advanced radiographers will nurture educational and training skills associated within their roles, which will ensure future sustainability radiography practice. In nurturing and developing clinical techniques and skills, and showcasing evidence-based health practice; new practices and roles may be realized which will lay foundations for further radiotherapy research (Malamateniou, 2017). The roles of radiographers will extend into assisting related departments such as chemotherapy in the identification of relevant treatment regimen for the patients. Diagnostic and therapeutic radiographers will be instrumental in the provision of treatment procedures and medication services as a component of patient care pathway. Therapeutic radiographers will be engaged at every stage of the radiotherapy treatment regimen. The future radiographers will constitute critical elements in cancer screening logistics. Many practitioners will extend their skills into finding remedy for diseases by evaluating and interpreting screen detected anomalies through use of needle biopsy and ultrasound (Malamateniou, 2017).

To conclude, radiographers undertake pivotal role in the medical treatment of cancer. Radiographic practice has continually graduated into an elevated level of duty and autonomy propagated by radiographers which has proven beneficial to the patients. The development of science and technology in medicine has yielded innovations that have impacted the healthcare sector. There has been urgency in adopting complementary skills to suit the technologies and patients demands (Hetherington et al., 2018). As discussed above, the roles of a radiographer from a future perspective will greatly improve the patients’ health outcomes. This essay has equally provided insights towards optimising radiographers’ potentials for better service delivery. The future working environment of radiographers will be characterised by oncology, diagnostic imaging, and radiotherapy. Relevant training and education is necessary for the acquisition of knowledge and skills necessary for mastery of the extended radiographers’ roles.

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References

  • Hetherington, S.M., Gilleece, T., Shepherd, P., Crowther, K., O'Sullivan, J., Jain, S., Mitchell, D., Shum, L. and Turner, P., 2018. TRUFU: Therapeutic radiographer undertaking follow up for prostate cancer patients. Radiography.
  • Malamateniou, C., 2017. Radiography and research: A United Kingdom perspective. European Book of Radiography.
  • Nightingale, J., Hardy, M. and Snaith, B., 2018. Embedding consultant radiographer roles within radiology departments: A framework for success. Radiography, 24(4), pp.289-297.

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