Jobs 101: Radiographer

Take a look at what it is like to be a radiographer.

Filkhairi Zaini
Filkhairi Zaini

Published: 5 March 2015, 2:56 PM

Who: Nur ‘Ashikin Binte Idris, 25

Occupation: Radiographer

Studied: Bachelor with honours in Radiographic Studies at London South Bank University

Many youths nowadays are more open to trying out different jobs, including some that you would not expect. Youth.SG had the chance to speak with Nur ‘Ashikin, 25, who works as a radiographer at Khoo Teck Puat Hospital.

Tell us more about yourself.

I am a radiographer in one of the structured government hospitals. I enjoy utilising current and advanced imaging technology and providing my service to patients.

Photo credit: Nur ‘Ashikin

How and why did you become a radiographer?

I got to know about radiography from a friend of mine and looked into the course online. From there, I was intrigued by radiography. Being able to assist in providing diagnostic images, which plays a vital role in patients’ treatment plans, captured my interest. I see this line of work as a way to give back to society.


What are some interesting experiences you have encountered in your work? 

There have been bizarre incidents where I had to diagnose drunk patients in the middle of the night who had bone fractures. Those were quite difficult because they get quite rowdy and talk a lot. They do not listen to instructions too. I have no choice but to be very stern with them when handling such cases.

Another interesting one would be a time when I was performing a chest x-ray on a patient, who turned out to be suffering from pneumothorax. It was a serious case, as it meant that the patient could eventually have collapsed lungs. After informing the doctor of the patient’s condition, the patient was up triaged and given immediate treatment.

What difficulties do you face?

One of the biggest difficulties is carrying out the job itself. Acquiring images requires patients to be still hence motion is our enemy. This is especially so for elderly people as they find it hard to stay still for image capture, since they might be in pain.

How do you help such people with complications then?

We try our best to help the patients unless the situation is really difficult. For example, we use modified x-ray tubes, sponges, or immobilisation bags in special cases. Otherwise, we will report to the doctor when we are unable to proceed with taking the x-ray for the patients.

Describe a typical day at work.

Our responsibilities on a typical day include acquiring diagnostic images with the use of x-ray machines. We ensure that proper and quality images are taken to provide proper diagnosis, without compromising on patient care.

Radiography lab Photo credit: Nur Ashikin

How long have you been doing this and how has the industry changed?

I have been a radiographer for four years. Technology is getting more advanced over the years. We have implemented more digital radiography in our departments. There is also an increased demand in quality services from the patients.

Does this job hold a special meaning to you?

It takes more than just technical skills to be a healthcare worker. Although it is definitely good to have excellent knowledge regarding the theoretical and practical aspects of the job, what is most important is that we give the patient the best care that they deserve. Therefore, I believe it goes beyond working just to earn money but having the patients’ best interests at heart as well.

Do you have any advice for youths considering this job?

Being a radiographer means that we are part of the healthcare team. If you care strongly for others and have an interest in handling high-tech imaging equipment, then this occupation could be for you.

You will get an adrenaline rush especially when working in the accident and emergency department, where you are exposed to different kinds of medical cases. That is when you get to optimise your skills and widen your perspectives. The job may be difficult at times, but at the end of the day, it is all worth it when you know that you have played a part, no matter how small, in your patients’ lives.


Educational requirements: Diploma or Degree in Diagnostic Radiography

Qualities: Proactive, team player, confident, empathetic

Working hours: Office hours or shift work

Salary range: Starts from $2,000

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