Radiography Support Worker

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 both types of Radiographer to help diagnose and treat patients. They also help administer treatment to patients with illnesses, such as cancer, and process digital images used to diagnose those who are ill or injured.

In NHSScotland, most Radiography Support Workers are based in hospitals, providing services for other departments, including accident and emergency, outpatients, operating theatres and on wards. They are sometimes known as Imaging Support Workers.

As a Radiography Support Worker, your main duties would include:

  • assisting and reassuring patients
  • processing digital images
  • helping the radiographer with procedures, such as biopsies
  • making sure the working environment is clean and hygienic
  • preparing patients for treatment, including lifting patients and transporting them between other wards and departments
  • helping to maintain equipment and reporting faults
  • updating patient records and booking appointments

Within a hospital setting, you may also work with medical physicists, engineers, doctors, nurses and other health professionals.

Useful skills include

  • patience and empathy
  • a caring and friendly personality
  • accuracy and attention to detail
  • strong communication skills
  • team working skills
  • an awareness of health and safety regulations
  • good level of physical fitness
  • confident using imaging technologies
  • IT skills

Useful abilities include

  • the ability to relate to people of all ages, lifestyles and backgrounds
  • the ability to reassure patients and explain procedures
  • the ability to keep your knowledge and skills up to date

To apply for a job as a Radiography Support Worker, you are likely to need a good standard of general education, including English and Maths. Previous voluntary or paid work experience in a healthcare setting would be an advantage.

The specific entry requirements will depend of the Agenda for Change (AfC) band (2, 3 or 4) for the job. The qualifications asked for may also vary, depending on the recruiting NHSScotland board. You are advised to contact each individual board to find out its specific requirements.

Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) scheme

When applying to become a Radiography Support Worker, you’ll need evidence of your good health and character, and background checks, such as the Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) managed by Disclosure Scotland.

Modern Apprenticeships offer those aged over 16 paid employment with the opportunity to train for jobs at craft, technician and management level.

The Modern Apprenticeship in Healthcare Support (clinical) at SCQF Level 6 and SCQF Level 7 is a framework for people interested in working in a clinical healthcare setting.

For more information about this Modern Apprenticeship framework, look at:

Contact your local NHSScotland board to find out if this Modern Apprenticeship is available in your area.

Working as a Radiography Support Worker in NHSScotland, you will be given the training you need for the job including:

  • an introduction to the department and its procedures
  • how to use the equipment
  • health and safety
  • risk management

During your career, you may have the opportunity to study for qualifications, such as an SQA HNC Allied Health Professions: Radiography (SCQF Level 7) or an SQA HNC Allied Health Professions: Diagnostic Imaging (SCQF Level 7).

This role, following further higher education, could lead to a career as a Diagnostic Radiographer or Therapeutic Radiographer.

Find out more information from these professional bodies.

Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC)

The HCPC is an independent, UK-wide regulatory body responsible for setting and maintaining standards for health, psychological, and in England; social work professionals. It maintains a public register of qualified professionals and works to improve industry standards and education. Visit the HCPC website to find out more.

Society and College of Radiographers (SoR)

SoR is a trade union and professional body representing the professional, educational, public and workplace interests of radiographers in the UK.

Radiography Support Workers can become members of SoR. They provide courses, conferences and seminars where Radiography Support Workers can update their skills and network with others doing similar work.

Find out more on the SoR website.