Work in Health Diagnostic Services

By ACS Distance Education on February 5, 2019 in Careers, Health & Jobs Success | comments

Find out more about jobs and work in diagnostics! 


Diagnostic services cover a range of health conditions. Some may be concerned with monitoring or preventative medicine. Some examples include blood tests, mammograms, bowel screening. Others may be concerned with establishing the extent of ill-health or disease using investigative techniques and technologies e.g. radiography.    

Scope of Work

Working in this field will vary considerably and is very specific however some daily tasks and responsibilities undertaken include:

  • 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 and recording results
  • Discussing findings with clients/patients
  • Arranging specialist help

What You Need to Learn for Career in Health Diagnostics!

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

Starting a Career in Diagnostic Services

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:

Taking foundation courses in sciences. 

To get started you might think about studying a short course such as Cell Biology or Medical Terminology or browse our range of relevant courses here

Looking for assistant and technician type positions - where you can learn on the job.

Taking sales type roles, e.g. for medical supplies companies, where you can learn about equipment.

Joining clubs or societies where you are exposed to science.

Volunteering to work at science and technical trade shows. 

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 your development, you can:

  • Take professional development opportunities when offered  
  • Enrol 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


Recommended Course - Certificate of Applied Biological Science (Human) 

Download the course description here!


If you would like to have a chat with a friendly careers advisor, we offer a free careers guidance service! Call our friendly team of course Enrolment Advisors on 07 5562 1088 or email us