A radiographer with a radiographic examination table and X-Ray tube.
|Allied health profession|
|Competencies||The use of technology to produce diagnostically useful radiographic media. |
Requires knowledge of Anatomy, Medical Law, Pathology, Patient Care, Physiology, Radiation Protection, Radiography, Radiology and Treatment
|Usually an undergraduate degree (BSc, BSc or A.Sc.), or diploma in less developed countries; see Education and Role Variation for more information.|
|Healthcare, Military, Medical Imaging, Radiology|
Radiographers, also known as radiologic technologists, diagnostic radiographers and medical radiation technologists are healthcare professionals who specialise in the imaging of human anatomy for the diagnosis and treatment of pathology. Radiographers are infrequently, and almost always erroneously, known as x-ray technicians. In countries that use the title radiologic technologist they are often informally referred to as techs in the clinical environment; this phrase has emerged in popular culture such as television programmes. The term radiographer can also refer to a therapeutic radiographer, also known as a radiation therapist.
Radiographers work in both public healthcare and private healthcare and can be physically located in any setting where appropriate diagnostic equipment is located, most frequently in hospitals. The practice varies from country to country and can even vary between hospitals in the same country.
Radiographers are represented by a variety of organizations worldwide, including the International Society of Radiographers and Radiologic Technologists (ISRRT) which aims to give direction to the profession as a whole through collaboration with national representative bodies.
Radiography's origins and fluoroscopy's origins can both be traced to 8 November 1895, when German physics professor Wilhelm Röntgen discovered the X-ray and noted that, while it could pass through human tissue, it could not pass through bone or metal. Röntgen referred to the radiation as "X", to indicate that it was an unknown type of radiation. He received the first Nobel Prize in Physics for his discovery.
There are conflicting accounts of his discovery because Röntgen had his lab notes burned after his death, but this is a likely reconstruction by his biographers: Röntgen was investigating cathode rays using a fluorescent screen painted with barium platinocyanide and a Crookes tube which he had wrapped in black cardboard to shield its fluorescent glow. He noticed a faint green glow from the screen, about 1 metre away. Röntgen realized some invisible rays coming from the tube were passing through the cardboard to make the screen glow: they were passing through an opaque object to affect the film behind it.
Röntgen discovered X-rays' medical use when he made a picture of his wife's hand on a photographic plate formed due to X-rays. The photograph of his wife's hand was the first ever photograph of a human body part using X-rays. When she saw the picture, she said, "I have seen my death."
The first use of X-rays under clinical conditions was by John Hall-Edwards in Birmingham, England on 11 January 1896, when he radiographed a needle stuck in the hand of an associate.[self-published source?] On 14 February 1896, Hall-Edwards also became the first to use X-rays in a surgical operation.
The United States saw its first medical X-ray obtained using a discharge tube of Ivan Pulyui's design. In January 1896, on reading of Röntgen's discovery, Frank Austin of Dartmouth College tested all of the discharge tubes in the physics laboratory and found that only the Pulyui tube produced X-rays. This was a result of Pulyui's inclusion of an o