In recent times, there has been a steady influx of people into the Radiography profession following the realization, awareness, and consciousness of the public about the profession and what it offers. An average secondary school leaver wishes to be called a radiographer aside from being a doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or engineer as it used to be before the current paradigm shift in choices of courses of study. Medical Radiography or Radiography is an essential arm of modern medical sciences that plays an indispensable role in the overall patient care, promotion of health, diagnosis, management, and treatment of diseases.
Moreover, as the profession continues to grow and expand in Nigeria, the demands for the services of radiographers also increase. Secondly, the teeming numbers of applicants seeking admissions to study Radiography in Nigeria have exponentially increased too. Statistics provided by credible sources have said that the number of licensed and practicing radiographers in Nigeria is not even commensurate to the overflowing population in dire need of radiographers’ services. This means higher chances of absorption of graduate radiographers so that these loopholes are filled.
Furthermore, a lot of radiographers in Nigeria have continued to migrate abroad as it promises better and brighter prospects when compared to the Nigerian system. One can see the reasons the number of admission seekers to study Radiography in Nigeria is multiplying yearly.
It is against these backdrops that this write-up seeks to sensitize the general public, parents, and admission seekers about all that is required to study Radiography in the various Nigerian universities offering the course. The aim is to lubricate the whole journey towards getting your dream course and provide basic answers to the questions bordering on studying Radiography in Nigeria.
What is Medical Radiography?
Medical Radiography is the science and art of using ionizing radiation and other forms of imaging techniques for the purposes of promotion of health, diagnosis, management, and treatment of diseases and injuries.
There are broadly two types of radiographers, namely:
- Diagnostic and
- Therapeutic radiographers.
Having at least known what Radiography is, it is pertinent to advance further to know which universities or institutes offer Radiography in Nigeria. This may serve as a veritable tool for all those seeking admission and are desirous to study Radiography to know where to go from the get-go.
List of Universities Offering Radiography in Nigeria
Radiography is not a new course in Nigeria, but only a handful of universities offer it in Nigeria. The following universities have met the accreditation requirements of the Radiographers’ Registration Board of Nigeria (RRBN), the regulatory professional body of Radiography practice; approved them centers and institutes for training radiographers and intending radiographers.
Currently, there are seven (7) universities only offering Radiography programs in Nigeria and they include:
- University of Nigeria, Nsukka
- University of Maiduguri
- Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka
- University of Lagos
- University of Calabar, Calabar
- Bayero University, Kano
- Usmanu Danfodio University, Sokoto
How Many Years Course is Radiography in Nigeria?
Radiography is a five-year (5) course or spans through ten semesters for the undergraduate program; at the end, the graduate having fulfilled all requirements is awarded a Bachelor of Science degree (B.Sc) in Radiography or Bachelor in Radiography (B.Rad) as some universities designate.
O’level Requirements for Admission to Study Radiography in Nigerian Universities
The Nigerian Universities Commission (NUC) provides the minimum O’level (WAEC, NECO GCE) benchmark to gain admission into universities. For Radiography, the applicant must possess at least credit passes in not more than two sittings in these five subjects. They are:
- English Language
- Biology and
JAMB or UTME Subjects Combination
For the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board examinations (JAMB), a student applying to study Radiography in the aforementioned universities must write the following subjects, namely:
- The Use of English
- Chemistry and
Most of these universities like UNN and NAU conduct screening examinations or post- UTME to further engage and select the best from the rest. The author recommends proper investigation from one’s school of choice to get other relevant information concerning their admission requirements.
Personal Qualities Expected of a student Seeking Admission to Study Radiography
In order to be successful and attain the anticipated satisfaction from Radiography, some fundamental personal qualities are imperative and hence, advisable that they are inculcated. One important fact I have realized from personal experience as a student radiographer and further corroborated by the testimonies of older colleagues is that these qualities if imbibed will continue to guide one in school and out of school- in practice and for life! The list is not exhaustive, few ones are enumerated here.
Medical radiographers are part of the managing team for patients in every healthcare setting. So as a Medical radiographer, or someone aspiring to be one, you must start inculcating the habit of having compassion especially for patients and those entrusted under your care. Compassion simply means that you are able to have sympathy and pity for the suffering of patients you meet daily. Learning to handle them with utmost respect and love is a great boost to your career.
Of course, you must be self-disciplined if you can pass through any medical-related course in Nigeria successfully. This is not lost on Medical Radiography either. You must be disciplined enough to dedicate long hours of study daily if you will become a Medical radiographer in Nigeria.
3) Ability to learn and work under pressure, or stress
Working under pressure is another virtue you must possess to study Medical Radiography. Passing though all those long hours of Medical and clinical postings is nothing to write home about. It requires patience, persistence and ability to cope with stress especially in a place like Nigeria.
4) Good observation and communication skills
Radiographers are the eyes of modern Medicine. So to be a successful Radiographer, then your observation skills must be top notch. You should also practice efficient communication as you will keep interacting with colleagues, Seniors and even more importantly; the patients.
Not everyone can study Radiography, but anyone can study the course. Being intelligent does not necessarily mean having an IQ that is off the charts, but it entails being curious enough to ask questions, and participate actively in classes. So as a student of Medical Radiography in Nigeria, you must understand that studying Radiography means putting in your best intellect with the mental predisposition to ask important questions when the need arises.
6) Time management skills
Studying Radiography in Nigeria is not an easy task. In this profession, we are faced with lots of work needing our attention within a short time-frame. These include; lectures, attending forums outside postings, long hours of clinical postings, and a lot more. But the good thing is that being focused makes a lot of thing easier. Doing the right thing at the right time, and being at the right place with colleagues at the right time, and as well as finding extra time for your personal studies and other activities. It is quite stressful, but obviously, it is worth it in the end.
A Radiographer stands a lot and is exposed to varying levels of stress! So being able to endure this stress through to you by whichever Medical school or University you find yourself studying Radiography is a great virtue.
Just like every other Medical course in Nigeria, studying Radiography requires that you are calm and calculated and not habitually involved in some bad habits that may scare your patients away from you. These could be in form of drinking at work, chain smoking, etc. Remember that your patients are like your customers, and the impression you create on them will determine if they will recommend you to their family and friends.
Tolerance is the ability to accommodate different people with different orientations, thought patterns and exposures. Just like I earlier mentioned in the introduction that patient care requires the collaboration of other health workers like Doctors and Nurses, you must learn to tolerate one another if patient care delivery will ever be efficient.
The developing trend of health workers fighting each other is not a good sign of tolerance. And it is obviously among the major reasons why there will continue to be a decline in the level of patient care in the country. So the earlier all health workers develop the spirit of tolerance, the better patient care delivery in Nigeria.
10) Ability to work as a team/team spirit
This is also another aspect of tolerance, but is a bit different as it entails being able to relate and work constructively with the people you work with directly in your team; including fellow Radiographers to ensure excellent patient care delivery.
11) Consuming determination to succeed
One aspiring to be a radiographer is one who is determined to succeed come what may. This determination should be consuming and ardent. This success is achieved by hard work and consistency fuelled by Divine help!
It takes a great deal of diligence, determination, and focus to gain admission into any Nigerian university let alone a highly competitive course like Radiography with a limited number of universities offering it. This veracity is a big challenge to an aspiring Radiography student. You are in for a very great competition because of the limited admission slots in these institutes of Radiography.
For those who are either studying or already practicing Radiography, one should count oneself lucky and privileged; cash in on this great opportunity and make the best out of it. The Medical Radiography profession is a noble and great one. A graduate of Radiography can work in any hospital or the private sector within or outside the country. There is no limit to what you can become in life even as a radiographer. The sky is only but a starting point and never your limit!
Happy sailing in this wonderful water of Radiography!