Theatre Radiography

This page explains theatre radiography and what it involves. If you’re familiar with the basics, you can jump directly to practical cases and specific procedures.

What is Theatre Radiography?

Theatre radiography is the practice of providing real-time X-ray imaging during surgical procedures and other interventions allowing clinicians to monitor the progress of the procedure and make immediate decisions. It is an integral part of standard diagnostic radiographer practice and normally involves using a C-arm, a mobile X-ray machine in the shape of a C designed to take X-rays around the surgical table.

Radiographer’s role

Radiographers are responsible for operating imaging equipment and providing real-time X-ray visuals to guide surgeons and other clinicians during procedures. They also ensure patient and staff safety and adhere to radiation protection standards to minimise exposure.

Key Responsibilities:

  1. Patient Identification: Verify the patient’s identity and relevant details.
  2. Pregnancy Status Check: Confirm pregnancy status for female patients of reproductive age.
  3. Radiation Control: Ensure radiation doses are kept as low as reasonably achievable (ALARA principle).
  4. Equipment Set-up and operation: Properly position and adjust the C-arm or other imaging equipment throughout the procedure.
  5. Image Quality: Obtain clear and accurate images to guide the surgical team.
  6. Communication: Maintain effective communication with the surgical team and patient.
  7. Safety Protocols: Adhere to all safety guidelines and protocols.
  8. Documentation: Record all relevant details of the procedure and radiation exposure.
  9. Infection Control: Ensure equipment cleanliness and adhere to theatre sterility standards.