Code of Ethics

A radiographer´s professional ethics is shaped for instance by legislation, various guidelines, general and health care ethics and also by the Code of Ethics for radiographers. The radiographer's profession develops and it is therefore important that also professional ethical issues are discussed and that the Code of Ethics is constantly improved.

The purpose of the Code of Ethics is to guide the radiographers´ professional ethical reasoning and to support ethical decision making in the daily work. The Code defines a radiographer´s basic role in the society and the main principles of his/ her work for radiographers, others working with health care and for the whole population. The Code of Ethics helps to sustain confidence in radiographers´ work and to promote a professional activity of a high level.

The central principles of the radiographers´ Code of Ethics are for instance human dignity, personal autonomy, justice, confidentiality, responsibility, safety and professional activity of a high level. The Code describes the goals of the ethical activity that are part of the radiographer's work. Adapting the Code to different situations remains as a radiographer´s own challenge.

Code of Ethics for Radiographers

Radiographer's Role

The goal for the radiographer´s professional activity is to improve and maintain people's health, to prevent and cure illnesses and to relieve pain. A radiographer´s specific expertise is related to imaging examinations (x-ray, nuclear medicine, ultrasound and magnetic resonance examinations as well as interventions), radiotherapy and radiation protection as well as to radiation surveillance.

Radiographer and the Patient

A radiographer treats his/ her patient as a unique person, with humanity and justice. He/ She examines and serves each person evenly and according to everyone´s individual needs, regardless of the patient´s health problem, culture, sex, race, skin colour, political view or social status. A radiographer will not accept taking advantage of another person under any circumstances.

The relationship between a radiographer and his/ her patient is based on an open interaction and mutual trust. He/ She is committed to confidentiality regarding the things that concern the patient's person, life and treatment and considers when to bring them up for discussion with others involved in the treatment. A radiographer knows the limits of his/ her professional competence and leads the patient to get help from another expert if necessary.

A radiographer respects the patient´s rights and acts in cooperation with the patient and his/ her relatives when required. He/ She contributes for his/ her own part to that the patient is sufficiently and properly informed of the examination or the treatment. Painful operations have to be performed using pain-relieving methods adequate to the situation and avoiding causing pain as far as possible. A patient has a right to refuse any operation directed to him/ her any time.

Radiographer and his/ her Relation to the Work

At his/ her work a radiographer is committed to the norms that define his/ her work and to his/ her professional ethics. A radiographer has a right to refuse to participate in activities that are contradictory to his/ her professional ethics. He/ She performs his/ her duties responsibly, securely, economically and with professional skill of a high level.

A radiographer´s work is based on a proper examination referral or radiotherapy plan with sufficient clinical information. A radiographer is responsible for his/ her own part that the activity that causes radiation exposure is justified. He/ She acts in that way that the radiation dose to which the patient, he himself/ she herself and other persons are exposed is as low as it reasonably is achievable (so called ALARA principle).

A Radiographer makes sure before the operation that he/ she controls all the necessary x-ray equipment, instruments and methods. At his/ her work he/ she uses appropriate research and treatment methods based on scientific information and/or experience. The scientific and technological progress demands continuous improvement of one's own skills and technique, that's why a radiographer has to inform, if necessary, his/ her employer of any possible weaknesses and developmental needs regarding the applied technique as well as of his/ her own educational needs.

Radiographer and his/ her Colleagues

A radiographer values his/ her job and respects his/ her colleagues as members of the profession. Showing consideration for the colleagues' individuality, compassion and mutual help and support are principles that will help radiographers´ work in the community. Radiographers working at the same work environment are together responsible for that the quality of the radiographic work is as high as possible and that it is constantly improved.

A radiographer cooperates with the representatives of the other occupational groups and the whole organization as well as with other interest groups. He/ She evaluates his/ her own and the other employees´ skills as he/ she undertakes tasks and assigns them to others.

Improving the Radiographer´s Profession

Essential at the radiographer's work is his/ her personality, and taking care of and improving it is his/ her right and his/ her duty. He/ She evaluates critically his/ her own acts and improves his/ her work. A radiographer takes responsibility for his/ her professional progress for instance by studying and keeping up with the literature in the field and also by participating in education and research. He/ She takes part in the student guidance among radiographers and radiography students.

Radiographer and his/ her Relation to the Society

Radiographers take part in the discussion about the human health as well as in decision making concerning especially the use and surveillance of radiation and the radiation protection. A radiographer acts in his/ her profession and in the society so that the radiation dose to which the public is exposed remains as low as possible