Radiologic Technology is one of the many high-tech medical imaging careers that continue to grow and expand. Technologists operate X-Ray imaging equipment. The X-Ray machine has been around for a long time but today’s equipment is an advanced, computer operated, diagnostic tool that can help physicians diagnose and monitor a variety of conditions. Radiological Technicians work directly with both doctors and patients.
Radiologic technologists utilze imaging equipment to x-ray various parts of the body. They then pass these images on to Physicians and Radiologists who develop diagnoses and treatment plans. X-Rays are used to help in the diagnoses of a variety of health conditions, including cancer, ulcers and, of course, broken bones. Job duties include, explaining the procedure to patients and seting up and working the equipment. Today’s X-Ray machines are much safer and use lower doses of radiation but the Radiographers must still follow important safety procedures. The use of radiation shielding to protect the patient and themselves from dangerous or prolonged levels of exposure is still required.
Radiologic Technology is often associated with the basic X-Ray but, in fact, the field is much broader than that. With a bit more education and training, there are other specialties that can be pursued.
Some radiologic technologists specialize in more advanced diagnostic imaging technologies, such as computerized tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). With experience and additional training , technologists can become specialists, performing CT scanning, angiography or MRI scanning. Managment is also a possibility. Experienced technologists may become supervisors, chief radiologic technologists or department administrators.
Educational Requirements and Training
Training in this area will involve coursework at Community Colleges, Junior Colleges and Technical Schools and will lead to an associate degree. There are other programs, including more accelerated options and institutions that specialize in medical imaging training. There may even be on the job training programs available. With additional education and training, more advanced technologists become certified in their field or specialty. Program duration and costs vary a great deal.
Advanced radiologic technologists can become certified as a Radiologic Assistant by the American Registry of Radiologic Technicians. Radiologic Assistants enhance patient care by extending the capacity of the radiologist in the diagnostic imaging environment. This role falls between the traditional roles of the radiologist and the radiographer.
The career outlook in the field of Radiologic Technology is excellent. There are many opportunities from the more traditional world of X-Ray technology to more advanced CT and MRI imaging technologies. Hospitals still remain the primary employer of Radiological Technicians but jobs can also be found in outpatient clinics, doctor’s offices and specialized diagnostic imaging centers.
A career as a radiology technician offers a step into the medical field in the area of medical imaging technology. As this area of medicine continues to advance, new opportunities will come available.