With the wealth of services the NHS makes available to the people of the UK, many of us don’t actually know what half of them do, or what they entail. Radiology is a speciality of medicine, and the study is used to treat disease (as well as diagnose it) with the use of advanced imaging technology. From cancer and heart attacks to various other deadly conditions and diseases, radiology is spearheading fight against avoidable pain and suffering, and the techniques used in this science are some of the most technologically advanced in medicine.
From magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and positron emission tomography (PET) to ultrasound and nuclear medicine, there are a number of different techniques that radiology encompasses. Interventional radiology is one of the most used techniques in the NHS today, and as well as being minimally invasive, it’s role is to highlight potential threats in the human body, identifying and treating them as soon as possible. The type of doctor who manages all these processes is called a radiologic technologist or a radiographer, and there are a few other types of radiology that should also be explained in detail.
Wilhelm Conrad Rontgen was the first person to discover x-rays, and it’s the Roentgenographs (or Radiographs) that are measured when x-rays are transferred through a patient onto a capturing device. Once the x-ray beam is passed through the patient, is it then filtered to reduce noise and scatter, finally hitting an undeveloped film from which the x-ray image is created (after the film is developed using chemicals). Improvements to this method are already coming in the form of Digital Radiography, where instead of the filters reducing noise and scatter, the signals are received by sensors, and then converted into digital information, thus creating an image on a computer screen.
CT scanning is one of the most used forms of radiology, and in conjunction with digital algorithms, it uses x-rays to image the body. You may have seen it in films or hospital television shows, but CT scanning machines generate images by rotating x-ray tubes around the patient, usually their head. CT scans are very detailed, and can detect minute variations in x-rays in a short amount of time. Furthermore, they’re less invasive compared to Fluoroscopy, as the patient simply has to lay on the medical bed, with sensors attached to their body monitoring heart rate, etc. If you would like to learn more about CT scanning, be sure to visit http://www.nuffieldhealthcareers.com/hospitals/radiology-jobs.aspx.
Usually paired with angiography, Fluoroscopy Radiology is a type of specific x-ray imaging, where image intensifier tubes and fluorescent screens are connective to CCTV systems, allowing real-time images of areas augmented with die or contrast agents. These agents can either be swallowed or administered by injection, and they absorb and scatter x-ray radiation throughout the body. As the die travels through the veins, the real-time images are monitored to see abnormalities. Air can also be used as a die agent when examining the lungs.