The Mandate of Radiographers Society of Botswana (RSB)
Radiographers are at the heart of modern medicine and the profession is developing rapidly. There are two types of radiographers; diagnostic and therapeutic. Diagnostic radiographers specialise in the use of the latest technology and a wide range of medical imaging modalities for diagnosis of pathologies and detection of injuries. On the other hand, therapeutic radiographers specialise in the use of the latest technology and ionising radiation to treat malignant tumours.
Radiographers provide essential healthcare services to thousands of people in both the government and the private sector in this country. They work not only as clinicians, but also as managers, researchers and educators. It is the responsibility of the radiographer to ensure that radiation protection is prioritised for all users of radiation, patients and members of the public.
It is important to mention that Radiographers Society of Botswana (RSB) is not a union but a professional body for Radiographers. RSB is a member of International Society of Radiographers and Radiological Technologists. The society promotes quality healthcare services for patients and it protects the interests of the public. The society also protects the interest of its members as well as promoting and developing the knowledge and skill of radiography professionals.
The main aims of RSB include:
- Promoting quality healthcare services.
- Educating the public about medical radiation.
- Promoting safe and efficient procedures and protocols in workplaces.
- Promoting study and research work in radiography.
- Protecting workplace interests of our members.
- Protecting the interest of the public.
A brief history of Radiographers Society of Botswana (RSB)
Radiographers Society of Botswana (RSB) was first registered as The Radiological Society of Botswana on the 7th of September 1992. It was later renamed to Radiographers Society of Botswana on the 6th of May 2008.
RSB was a strong and influential society in its early years. It even once hosted the International Society of Radiographers and Radiological Technologists in 2001. This was during the times when the government of Botswana used to fund societies. However, the government eventually halted funding societies. Unfortunately, RSB started struggling to stay active and ultimately it “died a natural death”. After many years of being dormant an interim committee organised a noteworthy annual general meeting (AGM) at Gaborone Private Hospital on the 25th of February 2017. This AGM gave birth to a new executive committee that was tasked to revive the society. Since then the society has been very active and has recorded a high number of registered members. RSB relies on subscriptions fees from its members, corporate sponsors, fundraising activities and donations to stay active and fund its mandate.
Diagnostic Radiography (x-ray imaging) is a medical imaging technique using x-rays to view the internal body structures. To create the image, an x-ray beam produced by an x-ray generator is projected toward the body part to be imaged. This x-ray beam passes through the body and is captured by a detector, either photographic film or a digital detector.
Computer Tomography (CT scanning) makes use of computer-processed combinations of many x-ray beams measurements taken from different angles to produce cross-sectional images of specific body structures. The x-ray generators and its associated detectors rotate around the body while producing x-ray beams. The information regarding attenuation of the x-ray beams is collected and subjected to computation to generate two dimensional images which can be further processed to produce a three dimensional image.
Ultrasound is a diagnostic imaging technique based on the application of ultrasound to image internal body structures. Ultrasound is sound waves with frequencies which are higher than those audible to humans (>20,000 Hz). The ultrasonic images are produced by sending pulses of ultrasound into body tissue using a probe. The sound echoes of different tissues are reflected back to the probe at varying degrees of sound. These echoes are recorded and displayed as an image.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI scanning) is a medical imaging technique used to produce pictures of the anatomy and the physiological processes of the body. MRI scanners use strong magnetic fields, magnetic field gradients, and radio waves to generate images of the body structures. Unlike diagnostic radiography and CT, MRI does not involve use of ionizing radiation.
Nuclear Medicine is a medical specialty involving the application of radioactive substances in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases. It uses small amount of radioactive material injected into the body and detected by a scanner to diagnose, determine severity and treatment of variety of diseases. Single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) and positron emission tomography (PET) scans are the two most common imaging modalities in nuclear medicine.
Radiation therapy is a cancer treatment that uses high doses of radiation to kill cancer cells and shrink tumours. There are two main types of radiation therapy, the external beam and the internal. The external beam radiation therapy uses a radiotherapy machine that aims the radiation at the tumour, whereas the internal radiation therapy is a treatment in which the source of radiation is put within the body.