I need science to be a Radiographer

Name: Martin Thomas
Job Title: Radiographer & Manual Handling Advisor

Name: Martin Thomas
Job Title: Radiographer & Manual Handling Advisor

Martin is a hospital manual handling advisor and a radiographer at Swansea Bay Health Board. Martin advises medical staff on how to move and manage hospital patients to keep them safe during surgeries, MRI scans or X-rays. Martin battled through dyslexia throughout his education. He originally studied an Arts Degree at Swansea Art College before deciding to retrain as a radiographer, even though the head of Physics at the time told him he wouldn’t be able to pass the course.

Martin is a hospital manual handling advisor and a radiographer at Swansea Bay Health Board. Martin advises medical staff on how to move and manage hospital patients to keep them safe during surgeries, MRI scans or X-rays. Martin battled through dyslexia throughout his education. He originally studied an Arts Degree at Swansea Art College before deciding to retrain as a radiographer, even though the head of Physics at the time told him he wouldn’t be able to pass the course.

All of the negative things you might think about working in a medical profession like the blood and smells are irrelevant. You don’t even focus on that stuff. You’re so focused on the science and applying your knowledge to what you do."

Working in the health board you have to have that baseline knowledge. You need to know the basics of science and understand how medicine works and how drugs work. Everything comes into play on any one day, it’s a very high-risk environment.

I have dyslexia. It’s been a struggle my entire life, really. Junior school didn’t understand why I couldn’t read or write and weren’t able to help me because we didn’t have the systems then. At comprehensive school, my reading age was 8. Up until sixth-form I struggled.

All of the negative things you might think about working in a medical profession like the blood and smells are irrelevant. You don’t even focus on that stuff. You’re so focused on the science and applying your knowledge to what you do. Also, there are other routes to education – you don’t have to get A-levels and go straight to university.

All of the negative things you might think about working in a medical profession like the blood and smells are irrelevant. You don’t even focus on that stuff. You’re so focused on the science and applying your knowledge to what you do."

Working in the health board you have to have that baseline knowledge. You need to know the basics of science and understand how medicine works and how drugs work. Everything comes into play on any one day, it’s a very high-risk environment.

I have dyslexia. It’s been a struggle my entire life, really. Junior school didn’t understand why I couldn’t read or write and weren’t able to help me because we didn’t have the systems then. At comprehensive school, my reading age was 8. Up until sixth-form I struggled.

All of the negative things you might think about working in a medical profession like the blood and smells are irrelevant. You don’t even focus on that stuff. You’re so focused on the science and applying your knowledge to what you do. Also, there are other routes to education – you don’t have to get A-levels and go straight to university.

Career Path

Martin took a more unusual route into his profession, retraining years after originally studying art. Radiography uses technology like X-rays to look inside a patients’ body to diagnose the cause of an injury or illness.

University Degree

The most common path to being a radiographer is to complete a University Degree (3-4 years) in Radiography. Some universities also offer 2-year courses for those who did a degree in another subject first, allowing you to retrain later on. In degree courses you will learn about the human body, physics and how to use the specialised, high-tech equipment.
To be accepted onto a radiography degree, you will usually need either:

 2-3 A-levels

Particularly in the science subjects, and 5 GCSEs (at grades 9-4) including English, a science and Maths. 

BTEC

Which includes a science subject.

Career Path

Martin took a more unusual route into his profession, retraining years after originally studying art. Radiography uses technology like X-rays to look inside a patients’ body to diagnose the cause of an injury or illness.

University Degree

The most common path to being a radiographer is to complete a University Degree (3-4 years) in Radiography. Some universities also offer 2-year courses for those who did a degree in another subject first, allowing you to retrain later on. In degree courses you will learn about the human body, physics and how to use the specialised, high-tech equipment.
To be accepted onto a radiography degree, you will usually need either:

 2-3 A-levels

Particularly in the science subjects, and 5 GCSEs (at grades 9-4) including English, a science and Maths. 

BTEC

Which includes a science subject.
More information
The NHS (National Health Service) also now offers many degree apprenticeships for various medical roles. This will see you study for the degree whilst doing much more ‘hands-on’ learning and work at the same time. You’ll need 4-5 GCSEs (grades 9-4).
As well as qualifications, the NHS says that it looks out for observational skills, communication skills and an interest in new technology.
There are lots of different jobs in the NHS and the medical field, ranging from paramedics to audiologists (specialising in hearing), pharmacists, data analysts and more. The NHS website has lots of information on the types of role available. Find out more here. 
There is often funding from the NHS to pay for part or all of your studies in a medical-related qualification.

More information

The NHS (National Health Service) also now offers many degree apprenticeships for various medical roles. This will see you study for the degree whilst doing much more ‘hands-on’ learning and work at the same time. You’ll need 4-5 GCSEs (grades 9-4).
As well as qualifications, the NHS says that it looks out for observational skills, communication skills and an interest in new technology.
There are lots of different jobs in the NHS and the medical field, ranging from paramedics to audiologists (specialising in hearing), pharmacists, data analysts and more. The NHS website has lots of information on the types of role available. Find out more here. 
There is often funding from the NHS to pay for part or all of your studies in a medical-related qualification.