Celebrating patient safety with radiographers at Tygerberg Hospital and RCWMCH | Western Cape Government


Celebrating patient safety with radiographers at Tygerberg Hospital and RCWMCH

8 November 2023

Celebrating patient safety with radiographers at Tygerberg Hospital and Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital (RCWMCH)

The radiologists and radiology technologists at Tygerberg Hospital and Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital play vital roles in providing diagnostic imaging and radiation therapy to patients with complex or advanced medical conditions. 

It is fitting to highlight their contribution to the public health system in the Western Cape on World Radiography Day celebrated on 8 November. This year, the theme is “Celebrating patient safety” which emphasises the role of radiography in ensuring patient safety beyond radiation protection, as well as maintaining efficient radiological procedures in medical practice. 

Using a range of imaging techniques, radiologists and radiology technologists work tirelessly every day to help diagnose or treat disease, detect injury, determine the treatment approach, and reduce the need for exploratory surgeries (a diagnostic method used by doctors when trying to find a diagnosis for an ailment). These techniques include fluoroscopy, positron emission tomography (PET), computed tomography (CT), ultrasound, X-ray radiography, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), to name but a few. 

Radiologists and radiology technologists are often the unsung heroes in critical situations, by providing rapid and accurate imaging crucial for immediate medical decisions. That they are able to deliver swift, high-quality results underscores their vital role at our large specialist public hospitals. 

Bardene Dreyer, Assistant Director of the X-ray Department (Diagnostics) at Tygerberg Hospital said, “Radiographers at the hospital provide a 24-hour service to the greater part of the Northern Metro district with increasing statistics in the number of 122 000 patients and over 160 000 examinations done every year. We are an X-ray department at one of the three Western Cape Government tertiary hospitals in Cape Town still providing this essential service to our patients with care and safety.” 

Radiographers at our large specialist public hospitals are at the forefront of ensuring that imaging procedures are conducted with the utmost care to minimise radiation exposure while maximising diagnostic efficacy. 

Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital (RCWMCH) is a tertiary level specialised paediatric hospital that treats patients under the age of 13 years. Performing over 30 000 studies per year, the radiology department at RCWMCH is by extension a unique specialist facility within an already highly specialised environment. 

“Radiology has become pivotal to most clinical decision-making and is used to confirm clinical suspicions, exclude certain pathologies, and monitor childhood diseases.  The emphasis in treating children, is non-invasive imaging where possible, with patient safety, comfort, and risk mitigation paramount. Paediatric radiology requires a particular set of skills and equipment geared towards children. Everything in the department (and the wider hospital) is tailored towards children, from size-appropriate equipment to protocols and parameters that reduce radiation burden and other risks to children undergoing imaging,” said Dr Ashmitha Rajkumar, consultant Radiologist at RCWMCH.