Philip: the patient

Philip Plant has experienced a number of different health conditions in recent years and regularly comes into contact with diagnostic radiographers during his visits to hospital.

“I’ve undergone the full range of imaging procedures – from the basic to the more sophisticated – and my experience has been nothing but positive,” he says.

“Radiographers are highly skilled members of the healthcare team and they play a major role in improving clinical outcomes for the patients in their care.”

Philip says that the most important quality in a radiographer is good communication skills. “Most patients who are waiting to undergo an imaging procedure are scared. They are probably wondering what the equipment is going to be like and whether the results will be good, or bad. It can be a very frightening experience.

“A radiographer should provide reassurance and be able to treat patients sensitively and as individuals, for example, quickly identifying those that need to talk, or be told exactly what is happening at every stage of the process, and those that would rather be quiet.”

Continuity of care is also important and many radiographers have extended their scope of practice in a range of complex procedures including the injection of contrast agents, biopsies and image interpretation. “This expansion of clinical ability is hugely beneficial to patients,” says Philip. “Not only is it reassuring to have the same person taking responsibility for the various stages of treatment, it also leads to positive service improvements by reducing waiting times.”

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