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    I'm thinking of pursuing a career in the medical field and radiography sounds the most interesting. The only problem is that there are two courses available (Diagnostic Radiography OR Radiotherapy/Oncology) and I can't seem to choose between them.
    Can someone explain the key differences between them and/or which one they think is the better course (i.e. learn the most from)?
    [I'm 16 at the moment by the way]
    Thank you!
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    They are completely different.

    Diagnostic Radiography is training to use imaging techniques to investigate problems. Xrays and CT Scanners with the option to study further and train in advanced techniques.

    Radiotherapy is mostly treating cancer patients. I'm not sure of the career path and it's no something that interests me.

    Only you can decide wich you prefer.
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    (Original post by tw02cow)
    They are completely different.

    Diagnostic Radiography is training to use imaging techniques to investigate problems. Xrays and CT Scanners with the option to study further and train in advanced techniques.

    Radiotherapy is mostly treating cancer patients. I'm not sure of the career path and it's no something that interests me.

    Only you can decide wich you prefer.
    Adding onto the the radiotherapy side with the career path, you work on the radiotherapy machine usually, but you can also work in a area called 'rad review clinic' which you specialise in telling the patients about the treatmeant, symptoms and other questions the may have. Finally you can work in planning which you use CT machines and draw tattoos to plan what area is getting treated with the radiation. As you go on in radiotherapy you can specialise in key areas
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    The key difference really is that diagnostic radiography is about imaging patients to help with diagnosing them and radiotherapy is about treating patients who have cancer. Both careers are varied and have several areas you can specialise in. Diagnostic radiographers train to use various pieces of equipment such as plain film x ray, CT, MRI and ultrasound (some will be postgraduate training) and generally only see a patient once and have to manipulate both the patient and the machinery to get good quality images. Therapy radiographers train to use a linear accelerator and have to manipulate patients into position to have their treatment, we usually see patients multiple times over the course of their treatment which can be up to 7.5 weeks. We also train to use a CT scanner for planning a patients treatment. Communication and attention to detail are very important skills for both paths.

    No one can tell you which discipline you'll prefer, there's a bit of cross over but i'd recommend you try and get some work experience in both so you can properly compare the 2.

    Some points to consider:
    - Diagnostics is a 24/7 service in most hospitals (though you can get more social hours in community hospitals) so you will be expected to participate in the night rota (as a student too). Radiotherapy departments generally operate somewhere between 7am and 8pm Mon-Fri with the an on call rota at weekends for emergencies.
    - Radiotherapy has to be delivered by at least 2 people. Personally I prefer this - there's always somebody else there to reduce mistakes and just generally to talk to throughout the day!
    - Radiotherapy centres are few and far between... you may have to travel a long way to placement and move when you qualify.
    - You may hear there are more advancement opportunities in diagnostics, this is not true, radiotherapy has just as many.
    - I can't speak for diagnostics but there is a national shortage of therapy radiographers. Especially when the 2 new proton centres open in 2018. A job is virtually guaranteed but you may have to move for one.

    Hannah
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    Thanks Hannah for this piece of information. I've bn wondering which one to choose, though i knw the diff. btw d two as i've had a one day shadowing on both. I really love to study radiography bt my issue is with maths
 
 
 
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