The requesting of imaging examinations such as X-rays does not form part of the standard training for non-medically qualified healthcare professionals. One aspect of the modernisation of the NHS has been the increase of extended roles for non-medical healthcare professionals such as nurses and allied health professionals, including requesting diagnostic procedures such as imaging examinations.

In 1994 the College of Radiographers issued advice on X-ray examination requests by nurse practitioners and stated that x-ray requests from non-medically qualified referrers was acceptable provided the referrer complied with the Ionising Radiation (Medical Exposure) Regulations, was a registered Health Professional and was adequately trained and competent to provide the radiographer with sufficient appropriate clinical data. There also had to be local agreements and protocols in place.

Nurses working in extended roles are now key providers of health care across all settings. They deliver the right skills, at the right place and at the right time to provide optimal patient centred care.

Clinical imaging departments have reported an increase in diagnostic imaging requests from non-medically qualified referrers and this has been recognised as a key factor in improving the patient care pathway.

The following will specifically address the functions of non-medically qualified refers responsible for the coordination of diagnostic tests for cardiology patients.


Policy Details

Download: PDF version
Compiled by: Karen Harris, Cardiology Specialist Nurse
Ratified by: Quality Governance Committee
Nursing Documentation Group
Date Ratified: May 2023
Date Issued: June 2023
Review Date: May 2026
Target Audience: All Cardiology Nurse Specialists, Cardiology Consultants and staff Radiology staff, Radiology administration staff, and all Cardiology Nursing and administrative staff.
Contact name: Karen Harris


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