Today I shall tell you a little about my studies at university. I am a third year university student undertaking a bachelor degree in Medical Radiation (Medical Imaging). At the end of my four years at university I will be a fully qualified radiographer. For those of you that are unsure, radiographers take x-rays and may undergo further study to specialise in CT, MRI, ultrasound etc. I hope to eventually further my skills into MRI and CT.
Surprisingly often, I am asked why I didn't choose to study medicine. The answer to that question is that I didn't want to. Why? I am impatient and do not wish to be responsible for a person's life. I have great respect for doctors and believe that their job is both tough and necessary, therefore I wish to aid them by providing assistance as a radiographer. The impatience comes in to play with the medical study. Here in South Australia, the first step is a six year university course yet after completing the sixth year the student still isn’t fully qualified. I definitely couldn't wait that long!
What most people don't understand about radiographers is that there is more to the profession than pressing a button to take the picture. During the course we undertake studies in anatomy, physiology, pathology and physics on top of the practical aspects of our job. We emerge from university knowing not only how to use the machines but also how they work. We also see enough medical images to generally be able to pick up many pathologies, however, we are not legally qualified to diagnose patients. Therefore, if you ever are in need of an x-ray, don't expect the radiographer to inform you of the results because they won't tell you even if you ask. I'm afraid you will have to wait for the radiologist to report your images; they are qualified to do so as well as paid for it.
A large part of the university program is comprised of clinical placement. Throughout our third and fourth years we are dispatched to hospitals and clinics to practice our skills. From my experience so far I have found clinical placement to be enlightening and rewarding and I definitely feel this is the right career path for me. Of course, there are the unnerving parts of the job such as imaging patients that have recently been involved in a serious trauma situation, but in general it is very interesting. I believe that this is a career I will be proud to embark on and I will put my all in to being the best radiographer that I can be.
So that is a little about my university course and my future employment. In a couple of weeks I will have mid-year exams and my free time is dwindling by the day. Hopefully I will be able to upload a new blog post each week but if not then this is why.
Thank you for reading.
Scarlett Van Dijk
Image courtesy of arztsamui / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
A Writer's Tale
Scarlett Van Dijk
Writer of young adult, fantasy series, the Sky Stone series, poetry and short stories.
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