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Sonographer and patient2

The Royal Berkshire Hospital Radiology Service provides state-of-the-art medical imaging for the diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of medical conditions. The department provides diagnostic imaging services in four key locations:

  • Royal Berkshire Hospital (Reading)
  • West Berkshire Community Hospital (Thatcham)
  • Royal Berkshire Bracknell Healthspace (Bracknell)
  • Townlands Memorial Hospital (Henley-upon-Thames)

What is radiology?

Radiology is a medical specialty that uses imaging to diagnose and treat diseases seen within the body. Radiographers and Radiologists use a variety of imaging techniques such as X-ray, ultrasound, Computed Tomography (CT), and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) to diagnose and/or treat diseases. Interventional Radiology is the performance of minimally invasive medical procedures under the guidance of imaging technologies. The identification and monitoring of diseases, skeletal and soft tissue abnormalities and trauma are the major focus of diagnostic radiography.

What is a radiologist?

A Radiologist is a specially trained doctor who interprets diagnostic imaging to guide the treatment and management of disease. If you have an interventional procedure (such as an angiogram or biopsy) a specially trained Radiologist called an Interventional Radiologist will perform the procedure. Radiologists provide a scan report which is then sent to your doctor.

What is a radiographer?

A Diagnostic Radiographer is a healthcare professional who has been trained to take your X-ray or perform your MRI or CT scan. Radiographers also support a Radiologist in performing interventional procedures.

A Radiographer who undertakes further training in ultrasound imaging is known as a Sonographer.

Diagnostic Radiographers employ a range of techniques to produce high quality images to diagnose disease. Advanced practice Radiographers are also trained to provide reports on X-ray imaging or to undertake a range of interventional procedures

Radiographers are trained to use a range of imaging technologies including: 

  • X-Ray – uses X-rays to look through tissue to examine bones, cavities and foreign objects. May be performed with contrast agents to provide a live motion image, e.g. fluoroscopy to image the digestive system, or angiography to investigate blood vessels
  • CT (computed tomography) – provides cross-sectional views (slices) of the body allowing disease to be identified and localised. Scans may be performed using contrast agents to enhance the images produced. These agents are administered by an injection or orally (a drink).

Imaging techniques that do not use ionising radiation include:

  • Ultrasound – uses high frequency sound waves. This technique is widely used for the diagnosis of a wide range of abdominal, vascular or musculoskeletal conditions
  • MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) – provides high quality cross-sectional views of the body without the need for radiation Scans may be performed using contrast agents. These agents are administered by an injection or orally (a drink).

    Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust,
    London Road,
    RG1 5AN
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    Tel: 0118 322 5111
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