Radiologic technologists take diagnostic images for physician examination. X-rays are the most commonly known form of diagnostic imaging. Other techniques include mammography, tomography, and magnetic resonance imaging. These images are used in diagnosing medical problems with the human body.
Radiologic technician jobs require the completion of an accredited training program. Check out the programs below which offer free information:
The job of the radiologic technologist is to first inform patients of what they are doing. Then, this professional must remove all items that will show up on the x-ray film. They must also position the person so that the image will be properly radiographed. The radiologic technician covers up exposed parts of the body to prevent unnecessary radiation exposure. They must adjust the settings on the equipment according to the area that will be radiographed. This is to ensure that the correct contrast, detail, and density is present on the image.
Radiologic Technologist and Technician Job Responsibilities
Additionally, the radiologic technologist must listen carefully to the physician’s instructions. Then, this professional must follow through to capture the images needed to make the proper diagnosis. Radiation guidelines must be followed closely to protect the radiologic technologist and other co-workers from harmful exposure. Additional duties for these professionals include the following tasks: maintaining patient files, maintaining equipment, and ordering supplies. Those that are in management positions must supervise the entire department. The supervisor must be extremely knowledgeable about all governmental regulations and guidelines. The manager must keep the staff trained and up-to-date on new standards and procedures.
This profession is not without hazards. Radiation can pose serious risks; therefore, all technicians must follow established guidelines explicitly. Failure to follow these rules is a danger to self, co-workers, and patients. Federal regulations are designed to protect the technicians and patients. Adhering to these rules will reduce the risks of excessive radiation exposure.
The radiologic technologist should have good physical stamina. These professionals must be able to stand for long time periods. They must also be able to lift and turn patients with disabilities. In some cases, the technician must travel to the patient with the proper equipment. Some of these professionals have a van with portable equipment; this equipment can be taken to the location of the patient. Thus, the technician must be flexible and willing to work in different settings.
A more complex procedure involves this technician preparing a drink for the patient to drink, and the technician will then radiograph certain areas of the body. Many professionals in this field specialize. For example, some focus on computed tomography. This form of imaging produces a three dimensional image of the specified body area. Other technicians choose to specialize in magnetic resonance imaging. This form of imaging uses non ionizing frequency to create the proper contrast.
Radiologic Technologist and Technician Training and Education Requirements
There are several ways to enter into this field. An accredited program in radiography can lead to one of three possible credentials: a certificate, an associate degree, or a bachelor’s degree. The majority of radiologic technologists have an associate degree in radiography. A certificate radiography program lasts from 21-24 months. Programs that have been accredited by The Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology . These programs teach students about the various topics in radiology.
Radiologic Technologist and Technician Training and Salary and Wages
Labor specialists found that in 2008, the median salary for a radiologic technician was approximately $52,000. The earners that all in the middle range make between $42,000 and $63,000 per year. The radiologic technicians that make $35,000 or less are the lowest earners in the profession. The top people in the field earn $74,000 or more per year.*
*According to the BLS, http://www.bls.gov/oco/
Radiologic Technologist and Technician Certifications
The U.S. federal government regulates the radiography profession. It requires each radiologic technician be properly licensed before working in the field. Each state must be the enforcer of licensing guidelines for these technicians. The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists provides examination that results in a voluntary certification in radiography. ARRT requires that a student graduate from an accredited ARRT program and pass the written examination. The vast majority of employers prefer to hire professionals that have a radiography certification. The status of being a certified radiologic technician is maintained by completing 24 hours of continuing education within 2 years.
There is definite room for advancement within the profession. Experience and specialized training can lead to positions in CT scanning, MR scanning, or bone density scanning. Those radiologic technologists with extensive experience can advance to supervisory roles and eventually to departmental head roles. Other professionals choose to pursue graduate education in radiography. A master’s degree or doctoral degree can lead to teaching at a college or research. In addition, some radiography professionals choose to go on and work with radiography equipment manufacturers.
Radiologic Technologist and Technician Professional Associations
The American Society of Radiologic Technologists is a professional association that seeks to uplift the members of the organization. This association exists to promote high standards in the profession, and the group also is a place of continuing learning of the radiography profession. Technicians in radiology benefit substantially by surrounding themselves with other professionals in the field. Shared knowledge and relationship can prove helpful to a technician’s career.