Transcript: Graduate radiographer FAQs

Are a radiographer and a radiologist the same thing?

Even though the names are similar, a radiographer and a radiologist do not do the same thing. Basically, radiographers take the scan, and radiologists interpret it.

Radiographers are also known as medical imaging technologists. They usually study radiography, medical imaging, and/or applied science at university. They are trained to operate the special equipment that is used to take medical images. Communicating with patients and using technological tools are the main aspects of a radiographer’s job. When images have been processed, the radiographer generally passes them to a radiologist.

A radiologist is a doctor who has specialised in reading medical images. They look at and analyse the medical images to diagnose illnesses and injuries. Radiologists often inform and advise patients’ primary doctors (the ones who sent them to get the scan) of diagnoses and further tests the patient might need. Candidates must be a qualified medical doctor with experience working in the field before they can start training to become a radiologist.

What is a relocation allowance?

A relocation allowance is an amount of money paid to an employee when they are required to move for a job. The money is intended to cover things like flights, moving expenses, insurance, and the cost of accommodation while the employee is settling in. Unless they are written into a contract, employers are not required to pay relocation allowances. They are a benefit used to encourage applicants, and are common when the role is in a rural area or an area with a skills shortage.

What’s the difference between general X-ray, ultrasound, and CT?

X-ray, ultrasound and CT are types of medical imaging. Each type uses different equipment and specific technologies to diagnose different illnesses and injuries.

X-rays are the most common type of medical imaging. A picture is taken of the inside of the body using an X-ray machine which puts out a small amount of electromagnetic radiation (also called ‘X-rays’). General X-ray images are used to detect illnesses and injuries like infections, breast cancer, and swallowed items.

Source: Health Direct (2022) X-rays, Healthdirect Australia website, accessed 18 January 2023.

An ultrasound device uses high-frequency sound waves which show real-time images of the organs and structures within the body. Unlike X-rays and CT, ultrasound doesn’t use radiation. Ultrasounds are often used to monitor pregnancies, as well as for diagnosing issues such as breast lumps and kidney or bladder stones.

Source: Health Direct (2022) Ultrasound, Healthdirect Australia website, accessed 18 January 2023.

CT stands for Computed Tomography. When someone gets a CT scan, they are positioned in a device which looks a bit like a large doughnut. The device has an inner X-ray tube that rotates 360 degrees around them, taking multiple X-ray captures. These produce layers of images which can show details of the bones, organs, tissue and tumours. CT scans are often used to detect illnesses and injuries such as cancers, bone fractures, and bowel disorders like Crohn’s disease.

Source: Health Direct (2021) Ultrasound, Healthdirect Australia website, accessed 18 January 2023,

What is AHPRA?

AHPRA stands for Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency. To work as a health practitioner, like a radiographer, in Australia you need to register with this agency. The agency’s role is to review your qualifications and documentation to make sure you meet the standards required to work in a health role. To register, you’ll need to show you’ve completed a relevant degree, passed your exams and done any practical component (like workplace training), and have passed a criminal history check.

What are some examples of degrees I could take to apply for a position like this?

  • Bachelor of Applied Science (Medical Radiations)
  • Bachelor of Radiography and Medical Imaging
  • Bachelor of Applied Science (Diagnostic Radiography)
  • Bachelor of Medical Radiation Science
  • Bachelor of Medical Imaging
  • Master of Diagnostic Radiography
  • Master of Magnetic Resonance Technology.


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