X-rays were discovered by Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen on November 8, 1895. Since the initial discovery, technology has evolved rapidly. Radiography includes diagnostic radiography as well as additional imaging modalities such as mammography, computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), PET-CT, PET-MRI, cardiac-interventional radiography, vascular-interventional radiography, quality management (QM), bone densitometry, nuclear medicine (NM), radiation therapy, and sonography. Radiography has been an indispensable diagnostic tool of modern medicine. Broken bones can be aligned, ulcers can be detected, and many other injuries and conditions can be treated when the exact nature is known to the physician.
What is Radiography?
Radiography is the art and science of using radiation to provide images of the tissues, organs, bones, and vessels that comprise the human body. Radiologists, physicians who have had special training in interpreting diagnostic images, read or diagnose these images. Treatment of a patient depends on the accurate and precise production of radiographic images.
The Role of a Radiographer
The radiographer is responsible for producing many of the diagnostic images of the patient that radiologists use to diagnose patient conditions. The body part of the patient must be accurately positioned, and only the amount of radiation necessary to produce a quality diagnostic image must be applied. Two important aspects of the responsibilities of the radiographer should be noted. The first includes the appropriate use of technology, and the second involves caring for the needs of patients in the health care environment. Exams and procedures are performed on patients of all ages, including pediatric and geriatric patients. The radiographer works in many areas outside of the radiology department, including surgery, the emergency room, cardiac care, intensive care, and patient rooms. The radiologic technologist contributes a special talent to assist in the diagnosis of injury and disease.