Radiography support worker

There are two types of radiographers within the NHS. Diagnostic radiographers use imaging technologies to help diagnose the disease or condition causing a patient’s illness. Therapeutic radiographers use doses of radiation to treat cancers and tumours.

Radiography support workers assist diagnostic and therapeutic radiographers. They help to administer treatment to patients, and process digital images used to diagnose those who are ill.

Starting your career

Choosing subjects at school

To become a radiography support worker, you need a good standard of education. There are no entry requirements, but useful subjects include:

  • Science
  • English
  • Maths

Apprenticeships

An apprenticeship is a good way to start your career in healthcare.

Modern Apprenticeships

A Modern Apprenticeship in Healthcare Support (clinical) is appropriate for people interested in working in a healthcare support role.

Find out more about apprenticeships at apprenticeships.scot.

Work placement

If you’re at school or thinking of changing career, doing a work placement could help you when applying to college, university or for a job in healthcare. You’ll learn new skills, improve your knowledge and discover what it’s like to work in the health service. Find out how to apply for work experience with the NHS.

The role

You will assist diagnostic or therapeutic radiographers to diagnose and treat patients. You may be known as an imaging support worker.

What you’ll do

Your main tasks include:

  • assisting and reassuring patients
  • processing digital images
  • helping radiographer with procedures, such as biopsies
  • preparing patients for treatment
  • helping maintain equipment and reporting faults
  • updating patient records and booking appointments

Top skills

You’ll need these skills:

  • caring for people
  • communicating with people
  • listening
  • motivating people
  • problem-solving
  • relationship-building

You’ll also need to have good IT skills.

Who you’ll work with

You could work with:

  • diagnostic radiographers
  • therapeutic radiographers
  • medical physicists
  • engineers
  • doctors
  • nurses

Working environment

You could work in:

  • accident and emergency departments
  • hospital outpatient wards
  • operating theatres

Useful information

To work as a radiography support worker in NHSScotland, you’ll need to:

Did you know?

Radiology support workers can join the Society and College of Radiographers. You would join over 20,000 members and gain access to valuable learning materials.

Learning and development

When joining the NHS, you will work through the Mandatory Induction Standards. These standards are designed to help you work safely and must be completed within the first 3 to 6 months of employment. They will also support you in your first steps as a new healthcare support worker.

You may also be encouraged when in the post to work towards further education qualifications. These may include:

Getting experience as a healthcare support worker can be very helpful if you decide you want to go to university to study to become a registered diagnostic radiographer or therapeutic radiographer.