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Radiographers valuable contribution to healthcare

District celebrates World Radiography Day.

Woman wearing clinical outfit operating a big machine on a patient
SydneyConnect Image: Linh Quach

Concord Hospital radiographer Linh Quach has become accustomed to change.

"In this COVID-19 pandemic, our team of radiographers has been challenged like never before. We have learnt to adapt to these trying times and supported each other like never before," she said.

She's one of more than 150 radiographers who work at Sydney Local Health District – who during the pandemic have provided thousands of chest x-rays and computed tomography (CT) scans to help diagnose and monitor COVID-19.

Today, the District is celebrating World Radiography Day.

On 8 November 1895, scientist Wilhelm Roentgen discovered it was possible to use electromagnetic radiation to create what is now known as the x-ray. His work was recognised with the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1901.

X-rays are now one of the valuable diagnostic tools radiographers use in patient care.

During the pandemic, the District's radiographers adopted new models of care, with mobile equipment allowing x-rays to be taken at the patient's bedside.

"Performing mobile chest x-rays to isolated patients allowed us to be flexible as well as minimise the risk of infection," Haitham Zirein, Canterbury Hospital's Chief Radiographer, said.

"We've been able to be more efficient. We can do repeat x-rays on the spot and provide a more effective prognosis," he said.

RPA's Chief Radiographer Shila Jeram said collaboration has been vital during the team's response to COVID-19.

"During the COVID-19 pandemic, our team has put in incredible hours in both the Intensive Care Unit, the Emergency Department and the COVID wards.

"It was overwhelming at first, with all of the challenges with infection control and personal protective equipment, but now it is part of our daily routine Safety for our staff has been key. Everyone has stepped up and we've been working really hard and working well together.

"New machinery and change of situations challenge us 24/7. We work closely with a multidisciplinary team to ensure our patients have the best service and outcomes," she said.