A day in the life: Diagnostic Radiographer

Leanne Furtado, 27, is a band 7 Senior Diagnostic Radiographer working at the Chelsea site.

Leanne qualified as a Diagnostic Radiographer at The University of Portsmouth in 2013 after completing an undergraduate degree in Diagnostic Radiography. She went on to work at an acute NHS Trust before joining The Royal Marsden in 2015.

Leanne says: “I decided to go into radiography because I thought it would offer me variety. I didn’t want to be in a job where every day was the same. I came to The Royal Marsden as I really wanted to work for a specialist trust and learn more about the cancer pathway.  I feel fortunate to be working here because not only do we have the latest advanced kit to work with but it’s also an environment where we are encouraged to further our skills. I split my time across X-ray, MRI, CT and Interventional Radiology (IR), with two week blocks in each area. We are a busy department as every patient at The Royal Marsden will come to us for imaging at some point during their treatment or follow up. I have worked in all these modalities since I started at The Royal Marsden and recently trained to scan in MRI. Working in Interventional Radiotherapy means I can deal with more complex cases that save and prolong life such as stopping acute bleeding and draining blockages caused by tumours.

I often work 12 hour shifts 8am until 8pm. If I am on an Interventional Radiotherapy day I will see about eight patients, on a CT day I scan up to 50 patients in a day and on an MRI day it will be about 30. It sounds like a long day but because it’s a fast paced work environment the day flies. Although I have set protocols to follow, I often have to adapt sequences when scanning patients according to their tumour types so it’s a really hands on job, for example if I am preparing a patient for an MRI I take time reading their medical notes and will position them myself so that I am confident I know I have them precisely where they need to be for an optimal image.


“Making things a little easier for patients is definitely the most rewarding part of the job. Patients often come to us feeling scared or anxious about having a scan or maybe what the results may be, so if I can help them get through that I feel like I’v