Wellbeing: Diagnostic Services

By ACS Distance Education on February 5, 2019 in Careers, Health & Jobs Success | comments
Diagnostic services cover a range of health conditions. Some may be concerned with monitoring or preventative medicine e.g. blood tests, mammograms, bowel screening. Others may be concerned with establishing the extent of problems e.g. radiography.    

Scope of Work

Work in this field will vary depending on the type of service offered but there are some daily tasks undertaken by many:

  • Arranging appointments
  • Interacting with clients/patients
  • Use of screening equipment e.g. taking blood samples, mammograms, x-ray machines, MRI scans
  • Sending samples or findings for analysis
  • Analysing results
  • Interpreting & recording results
  • Discussing findings with clients/patients
    Arranging for specialist help

What You Need to Learn

  • Assessment - physical health, referral procedures
  • Physical health - knowledge of diseases, signs & symptoms, course, comorbidity
  • Terminology - medical terms and meanings
  • Practical skills - use of equipment, machinery, materials
  • Diagnostic skills - analysing results, interpreting findings
  • Science - biology, physiology, chemistry
  • Psychopharmacology - use & effects of medications  
  • Communication skills - verbal, non-verbal, educating clients/patients
  • Legal & ethical issues - confidentiality, multicultural competence, informed consent
  • Health & safety - knowledge of OH&S procedures  
  • Writing skills - note taking, report writing, record keeping
  • Planning skills - organising work, planning appointments, working out schedules

Starting a Career

People may start a career in the diagnostic medical field in different ways. Some might start by working as a technical assistant to a radiographer, for example, and others may begin as a lab assistant where they learn about the practical side of storing and testing samples forwarded to the lab. From here they may go on to learn about how to interpret test results.

What people in diagnostics have in common is knowledge and interest in sciences, as well as practical skills in using equipment and assessing findings. Therefore, to start out in this field  you might consider:


Progressing a Career

 Once you have started a career in diagnostics there are opportunities for advancement so long as you remain open to learning. There are many things you'll need to know which can make it both interesting and challenging.

To continue to excel, you can:

  • Take professional development opportunities when offered  
  • Enroll for workshops provided through employers or outside of the workplace
  • Join a professional bodies or trade associations which represents your line of work
  • Go to conferences, trade shows and fairs
  • Network - use social media, join online groups, get involved in fundraising events, etc.
  • Take courses - online or part time courses can help you boost knowledge in areas where it may be deficient
  • Learn new skills - if possible try to learn new skills which enable you to diversify