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Radiographers at the heart of future healthcare

Tagged In:  Radiography

The pioneering UK Biobank Imaging Study will not only provide new data and insights about diseases, it will also explore innovative ways to interpret images, highlighting the vital role that radiographers play in a modern healthcare system.  

The study aims to carry out detailed MRI scans of the vital organs of over 100,000 participants, which would make it the largest imaging survey ever. Well over 9,000 people have been scanned already, providing new data and insights into the diagnosis and treatment of conditions such as arthritis, coronary heart disease, Alzheimer's and osteoporosis.

The project also aims to explore new ways of using images in research and clinical settings, which is likely to further increase demand for medical imaging professionals, as well as offering career development opportunities. And that's against the backdrop of a national shortage. As one of the UK's leading companies specialising in locum recruitment for healthcare, we're acutely aware of how sought-after trained radiographers and sonographers have become in many parts of the country.

With ever-increasing demand for complex imaging, it's obviously important that more radiographers are trained in the right way. The University of Cumbria has recently announced a £2 million investment in new state-of-the-art digital imaging equipment and is also changing the way its courses are structured to offer more specialised training, such as MRI and CT modules. "Traditionally, radiographers would work for a few years before being expected to 'broaden' their role, with on the job training for the other modalities being given, " said Clinical Lecturer-Diagnostic Radiography Rachel Newcombe. "It is becoming much more common for radiographers to go straight into these other modalities from qualifying, and never carry out traditional imaging."

Over at the University of Derby they've launched a series of fast-track healthcare degrees from September this year, including an MSc Diagnostic Radiography and an MSc Medical Ultrasound. The two-year courses include placements in the NHS, as well as in private and voluntary sector healthcare employers. Derby's radiography undergraduate degree course currently has a 100% employability rate.

Dr Neil Pease, Executive Director of Workforce and Corporate Development at Derby Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, welcomed the new courses, commenting, "We are committed to growing our workforce of the future and these innovative programmes offer a unique opportunity to gain academic and practical experience."

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