By nature, the role of a radiographer is highly demanding: from the inevitable stress associated with patient care to technological challenges that arise in practice, professionals in this sphere certainly have their work cut out for them.
The need for rigorous technical training goes without saying, as successful radiographers must be able to manipulate various techniques to suit the specific needs of their patients. However, beyond formal education, the best radiographers boast certain qualities that put them a cut above the rest.
While some of these skills can be taught, radiographers seeking to up their game must look inward to identify the personality traits it takes to improve the patient experience.
To make it a little easier, we’ve laid out the top 4 qualities that every leading radiographer should have:
1. INTERPERSONAL SKILLS
Just like all professionals in the healthcare sector, radiographers work very closely with their patients; their role by nature puts them face to face with serious illnesses and injuries that would be unsettling to most people. Leaders in this field are not only able to overcome any discomfort or stress attached to the job, they are able to make a patient feel at ease.
Earning patient trust requires a certain level of emotional intelligence from radiographers: without it, they risk causing further distress to the patient or adding to their worries.
Since they will be working as part of a team, communication is also a key quality that every radiographer should possess. In this industry, a breakdown in communication is not just a missed deadline or an unhappy customer – it can quite literally be life and death.
From advances in technology to emerging techniques drawn from ongoing research, the field of radiography is changing fast. For professionals to thrive in this role, they must be able to adapt quickly to new practices and processes at lightning speed. Rather than sticking to the current methods for fear of change or disruption, high-performing radiographers are always looking for ways to drive efficiency and improve patient outcomes – be it through a new test to determine the necessity of a scan or the implementation of the latest cutting-edge industry tech.
While their degree may provide them with the technical expertise they need to succeed in the field of radiography, most new entrants to the profession don’t realise the stamina they need to perform well in the role. In fact, radiographers spend the best part of every working day on their feet, and emergencies can see professionals in this sphere doing overtime on a regular basis.
Responding to calls or rushing to work on a planned day off are facts of life to leading radiographers – however, that isn’t to say they aren’t focused on their own wellbeing. Personal health (both physical and mental) should be a priority for radiography professionals – after all, you can’t give it your all when you’re running at 50%.
4. A CALM DISPOSITION
It’s not easy to hold back your natural reactions when faced with bad news. Whether the results of a scan reveal a large tumour or an abnormality that requires further investigation, radiographers cannot show signs of fear or concern to the patient.
As a radiographer, a calm demeanour will certainly help you to improve the experience for your patients and develop good relationships, but it also aids in managing your own stress. When the facility is under-staffed or the emergency room is full, the ability to keep calm and carry on will keep radiographers from succumbing to the pressure and letting stress slip into their service.