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Questions regarding experience required as a radiographer


I'm a radiographer from NZ, and my desire to volunteer with you was a huge motivator during my last year of study!

I've been qualified for almost two years now (working in xray), and am hoping to train in CT early next year. 

In terms of experience with contrast administration, do I need to be able to cannulate patients? At my hospital we have radiology nurses who do this.

And do I need to have experience working specifically with the PACS IT team, or is it just general knowledge of radiology computer systems that's required?

I'm asking now because if all goes to plan I'd love to apply to volunteer for three or four months (approximately) from mid-2018 and want to make sure I have enough experience.

Thank you,



  • AllyJonesAllyJones Posts: 113 ✭✭
    Hi Miriam,

    We are so pleased that you found your motivation!! We always hope that people are inspired by the mission of Mercy Ships & glad you found us!

    I have passed on your post to the Senior Rad Tech currently on board & she will come answer your questions when she gets a minute. We are in the middle of our Orthopaedic program right now so she is being kept rather busy!! Exciting times.

    Thank you for your questions,

    Ally Jones
    Director of Human Resources

    m/v Africa Mercy
  • CraigSharverCraigSharver Posts: 11 - Current Staff

       Thank you for the willingness to serve with Mercy Ships. Great questions about the Rad Tech position on board the Africa Mercy. Holly Franklin will be able to answer the "Cannulate Patients" question in detail.  Here is some additional information. We look forward to you volunteering in 2018!  

    The requirements listed below are representative of the education and / or experience required:
    • Current license to practice as a Radiology Technician/Radiographer in home nation
    • Minimum of one year post graduate experience in x-ray
    • Minimum of one year experience in CT
    • Experience with IV contrast administration
    • Experience working with PACS
    • Experience working with Computed Radiography (CR)
    We have the following radiology equipment on the Africa Mercy: 
    • CT Scanner             GE VCT Pro32
    • Table X-Ray            Quantum Quest QS-550 Floor Mounted, QMI HF generator, with standard Bucky
    • CR Cassettes          Kodak VITA Digital
    • CBCT                      Planmeca ProMax  3D with Ceph
    • OPG                        Planmeca ProOne  2D (mostly dental)
    • Ortho                       GE OEC 6600 Min C-Arm
    • Dental                      Nomad Pro- Handheld Generator (Off Ship dental clinic -digital)

    NOTE -All X-rays are digital – no film used 

    Thank you for the willingness to serve the people of Africa. 


    [email protected]
  • Hi Miriam,

    So sorry for the delay in my response! It's been a busy few weeks with all these adorable ortho kiddos! smiley

    I'm so happy to hear that you are wanting to serve with us! It's an amazing experience & one you'll never forget!

    In regards to your question about cannulating:

    While being able to cannulate would definitely be a bonus, but it's not completely necessary. Most of our patients who require IV Contrast come to us already cannulated. Of course, there are times when a vein may rupture or the order may be changed from W/O contrast to W/ contrast, & in those situations, we will go ahead & cannulate the patient here in radiology. But 90% of the time, we have no problems with their current IV & all goes according to plan! I think when they state, "Experience with IV Contrast Administration", it's less about the actual act of cannulating & more about knowing what to do if something were to happen during/after the IV Contrast being given...examples: IV infiltration / IV extravasation / allergic reaction or Anaphylaxis.

    Also, you will be paired with another technologist 98% of the time. There are very few instances where you would be alone in the department, & therefore, you should never have to face cannulating a patient alone. But if that does happen, or if the patient is a difficult stick, all of our nurses here are truly incredible & don't mind jumping in to help out when needed. So please don't let not being able to cannulate a patient hinder you from applying & serving with us! One of the most amazing things about our Mercy Ships Community is that you will never face any challenge/situation alone. We are truly in this together. We are more than co-workers, more than friends...We are family. So if there where ever a time that you need help, in any way, we would all have your back.

    (Side Note: If you are planning to train in CT over the next year or so, I would definitely ask about the possiblity of being trained in how to cannulate (if it's a skill you would like to obtain). Most hospitals offer some sort of cannulation course...(or you could even be trained on the job by one of your radiology nurses if you aren't required to be licensed in cannulation). Just a thought!)

    In regards to your question about PACS / IT:

    Having a general knowledge of radiology computer systems / PACS is completely fine. We have a IT team that is extremely knowledgable & they handle all of the settings & troubleshooting when it comes to the software & servers. So as long as you're able to pick up & retain the small differences in the PACS systems, you should be totally fine! The PACS system we use onboard is fairly user friendly if you have experience with PACS systems in general.

    I hope this information helps! If there is anything else you would like to know, please feel free to email me! I'm happy to help in any way! smiley

    God Bless!

    -Holly Franklin

     Senior Radiologic Technologist - Africa Mercy

     [email protected]
  • MiriamWhiteMiriamWhite Posts: 2
    Thank you all very much, your answers were super helpful! 


  • godsmackugodsmacku Posts: 1

    I am really interested in working on board the ship as a X-ray tech. I have 15 years experience at a teaching hospital in Oregon. I was wondering whom to get in contact about Possible positions open sometime soon. My email is [email protected] Any info would be welcome

  • AllyJonesAllyJones Posts: 113 ✭✭

    Hi @godsmacku,

    I have passed your email address on to our Medical Recruiter, Sheryl. She will be in touch with you soon!

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