What does a typical week's shifts for a Diagnostic Radiographer look like?

Discussion in 'Other alternatives' started by allnattybrah, Oct 22, 2017.

  1. allnattybrah

    allnattybrah New Member

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    I am equally interested and enthusiastic about pursuing a career as a Podiatrist or a Diagnostic Radiographer, and have the marks to enter into a Bachelor's Degree for both, but I need to come to a decision as to which of the 2 I will wholly pursue. The answers to the following questions will go a great way as to helping me do so.

    - What does a typical weekly roster for a Diagnostic Radiographer look like? I have read they have early starts, such as 7am – I am fine with this. I have read they work into the night, sometimes finishing at midnight – I am fine with this as long as it's not every shift. I have read they work weekends – I am fine with this provided they don't work every weekend. I am also fine with being on call.

    What I am not fine with is regular shifts such as 7pm to 7am. I am currently in a career where this is the norm and I am not prepared to work those shifts any more. It is a deal-breaker for me.

    - Which of the 2 careers has the greater realistic earning potential? Multiple sources on the internet report that the earnings are nearly identical for all levels or perhaps slightly more for a Diagnostic Radiographer (I am NOT choosing a career based on pay, but it IS a factor that should be considered).

    - Which of the 2 careers has the better job outlook? I can not find a conclusive answer to this.

    If both careers entail the same amount of income and job outlook while Podiatry has the far superior working hours, then it is a no-brainer for me to pursue the path of a Podiatrist.

    Thanks for your help.
     
  2. Benjamin

    Benjamin Intern (JCU MBBS) Administrator

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    Not 100% sure about pay rates but here's a good guess - most of the Qld Health radiographer jobs being advertised are either HP3 or HP4 stream; HP3 for junior & HP4 for senior. If you want to see for yourself then plug radiographer into this search: https://smartjobs.qld.gov.au/jobtools/jncustomsearch.searchResults

    A quick look at those payrates is here: Wage rates – Health practitioners | Queensland Health
    Essentially it ranges from 65K - 114K base rate. What's important is to consider that those are base rates & I believe after hours / on-call gets the rads similar bonuses to other staff in the hospital, i.e. working nights pays more than day shifts etc.

    I think the two jobs are very different & also very variable. Radiography in the hospital is a totally different beast to private radiography. Similarly, CT radiography is completely different to ultrasonography, helping with angiogram/interventional radiography etc. Private rads mostly would work normal shifts & not have night shifts etc - it's rare that a private radiology service external to the hospital is open at 2am. I do know however that the radiographers at my hospital absolutely hate their night shifts - mostly its servicing ED rather than the rest of the hospital which means every request is "urgent" & that your workload depends on what comes through ED.

    I have absolutely no exposure to podiatry or any answers about it, my only thoughts are that radiography is a very big field with lots of options & podiatry is a specialised field where mostly you probably spend most of the day looking at diabetic feet. I think my bias is pretty clear.
     
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  3. allnattybrah

    allnattybrah New Member

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    That's a really informative and helpful post, thank you very much. Some great information there.

    When you say they hate their night shifts, is it because of the hours or that they're mostly servicing ED rather than the rest of the hospital?

    Also, what sort of night shift are they working... for example 2am finish, 7am finish etc, and how often?
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2017
  4. Benjamin

    Benjamin Intern (JCU MBBS) Administrator

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    I'm not too certain how the rosters work but I imagine there would be a fair mix of things ranging from working only 9-5 through to working a rotating roster through to only nights. It all depends on the contract & the specific demands of the hospital. My experience is that at night (in my hospital) there is a radiographer on for CT & X-ray at all times but ultrasound is on call & MRI is on-call only through the radiologist's request. The result is that there is only 2 radiographers on for the hospital overnight & often a continuous flow of CT & Xray requests that since all are coming from the ED are all considered "urgent". Combine having limited support with night shift hours & constant "urgent" requests & you get a shitty work-place environment... though that's pretty much the hospital everywhere at night time.

    Usually night shifts will be 8pm - 8am.
     
  5. allnattybrah

    allnattybrah New Member

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    Cheers Benjamin, very appreciative of your time.
     
  6. chinaski

    chinaski Regular Member

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    Not just requests from ED - inpatients not infrequently crash and need out-of-hours contact with radiology, too. If years of covering inpatient wards overnight taught me anything, it's how to get the radiographer to multi-task and accept the fact that they're not just there to cover the ED. Ditto, how to make the on-call staff get their sleepy, reluctant arses into work when someone's trying really hard to die on the wards. ;)
     
  7. Benjamin

    Benjamin Intern (JCU MBBS) Administrator

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    Agree about inpatients crashing overnight & it certainly fits with what I was saying re: every request overnight is "urgent"!
     
  8. chinaski

    chinaski Regular Member

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    Goes without saying: no elective radiology is ever pre-scheduled to occur after hours.
     

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