Why did I choose to study Radiography and Radiotherapy?

I just wanted to mention right here at the beginning that I made a little “guide” to the Finnish school system in case you’re interested in that sort of thing. It might also clarify some of the things I talk about in this post. I’m currently in the ‘universities of applied sciences’ – category in case you wonder about that later on.

I have honestly always thought that I would never study anything even remotely close to health care. I have no interest in other people’s insides and the thought of ever having to stick a needle in someone gives me the shivers. My sister is a nurse and listening to some of her stories of all the gory things she has seen has convinced me to never work in a hospital in my life.

How on earth did I end up studying radiography and radiotherapy?

I used to work in a grocery store. (Technically I still do as I’m on a study-leave.) I have a rather long career in the field but at the beginning of this year I started to feel frustrated for not getting promoted or more responsibility. I began to feel like I could do so much more in my life! That’s when I decided to do something about it.

I looked through all the possible study programmes online. That’s how I found radiography and radiotherapy. I searched the occupation online and found out that I had a really good chance to get employed and the money would be acceptable as well. I also thought the job itself would be extremely interesting and diverse. It would be customer service with a technical side. An exciting work that changes as the machines and technology changes. I got really excited about it.

I found a bunch of other interesting degree programmes as well and decided to apply to five different schools. I had thought that it wouldn’t matter which school would have me, but as the invitations to the application tests began to arrive I became more and more desperate to have the invitation for the radiography and radiotherapy programme and I quickly realised that that was the one I really wanted to study.

The degree programme in radiography and radiotherapy (that’s the degree programme I’m on) is probably slightly different in different countries, which means radiographers in different countries are allowed to do different things.

For example, I know (the Internet taught me, so I could be wrong) that in the UK radiographers are either diagnostic radiographers who most likely take x-rays, CT scans, and MRIs which they also diagnose, or radiotherapists who have knowledge of all the radiotherapy treatments for cancer, and probably much more.

I’ve been studying for a little over a week now and this is what I’ve learned so far of what this degree will teach me. In my studies I will end up with knowledge of all of the things the diagnostic radiographers and radiotherapists have in the UK. Only exception is that I will not be making diagnoses. I will know about different radiographing techniques and radiotherapy treatments. I’ll be able to take x-rays, CT-scans, MRIs etc. but I won’t be able, nor allowed, to diagnose or evaluate the pictures. That’s the radiologist’s job. They diagnose the pictures and give their evaluation to the doctors who will give the final diagnose and decide on the treatment the patient needs.

So far I’ve been having a lot of fun at school. Our class is full of wonderful people and I’ve enjoyed spending time with them a lot. We had our first anatomy and physiology class last Wednesday and our teacher told us we’ll have study all the bones and some other things in Latin. I can’t hardly wait! And I’m not even kidding!

We have our freshmen party next Thursday so stay tuned for that!



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