Radiology Technicians

What Does a Radiology Technician Do?

Imaging technologies and equipment are commonly used in hospitals, clinics, and other health care facilities for a variety of diagnostic and testing purposes.

Technology has made it possible for X-ray, ultrasound, and other equipment to be used to look inside the human body and spot illnesses, disorders, and other medical conditions in order to properly diagnose and come up with treatments.

As part of the healthcare process, radiology is an important aspect of helping patients and ensuring the best treatment.

Machines Need Operators

What Does a Radiology Technician Do? - BecomeaRadiologist.orgModern as much of the equipment are, imaging machines and technologies do not operate themselves, and require the skills and professional abilities of trained operators. This is where radiology technicians come in and fulfill their work.

Radiologic technologists or radiology technicians are the personnel who operate the machinery and make sure that everything is in order so that an examination can be performed correctly, and the patient’s results are as accurate as possible.

Assisting Radiologists

Both radiologists and radiology technicians have a detailed understanding of the human anatomy, and work together to come up with the best possible solution. In most health care facilities, the radiologist orders the test or examination, while the radiology technician preps the patient and performs the test.

Part of the process is making sure that the patient is put at ease and is as comfortable as possible throughout the process, and this is part of the radiology technician’s responsibilities as well. Most imaging technologies require the patient to lie on a bed during the procedure, so the radiology technician assists the patient in assuming the right position so an accurate result can be achieved.

Some patients are naturally apprehensive about the examination, especially if it is the first time that they will be undergoing an MRI, CT scan, X-ray, or other test. The radiology technician orients the patient on the process, what needs to be done, and how safe and easy the procedure should be.

Keeping It Safe

Radiology utilizes varying levels of equipment or other tools that utilize radiation or magnetic fields. If carried out improperly, this can be potentially hazardous to the patient or even the operator. The radiology technician must make sure that all safety precautions are carried out to the letter.

Protection must begin from the technician himself, and protective suits, vests, or other protective clothing are used by radiology technicians to ensure that they are not exposed to harmful levels of radiation. The patient must also be adequately protected, usually with masks or other clothing that protects sensitive organs or tissues in the body from radiation.

Make necessary adjustments

The patient’s conditions must also be considered in the testing process. For instance, special procedures or arrangements may need to be carried out for persons with disabilities or with impaired mobilities, or those with pacemakers, intubated, catheterized, etc. Personal items that can impair or be impaired by the testing process should be handled properly.

As they work with the radiologist or other medical professionals, radiology technicians also assist in interpreting or analyzing results. They are an important factor n the efficient delivery of medical services and treatments for patients.

Training and Education

Become a Radiology Tech: Training & Education Requirements

One of the many exciting career paths within the world of radiology is that of the radiology technician.

If you are one of those people who are fascinated by the inner workings of the human anatomy, and love to look at how the different parts of the body are interconnected to each other, a career as a radiology tech might be something that could be very interesting to you.

Also, with radiology treatments and imaging technologies continuing to grow at a fast pace, becoming a radiology tech could very well provide you with a stable source of income with much advancement potential.

What Exactly Do They Do?

Radiology technicians work hand in hand with physicians or radiologists in health care facilities.

They are specifically in charge of the actual operation of imaging equipment, carrying out examinations, preparing the patients for the procedure, and then releasing the images and helping to analyze the results with radiologists or physicians.

While many radiologists are also trained in the carrying out of the examinations, in most larger medical facilities it is the responsibility of the radiology technicians to handle this, while radiologists and doctors discuss the findings and suggest treatments with patients.

In Charge of the Testing Process

Radiology technicians would explain to the patient the medical imaging process they are about to undergo, whether it is an X-ray exam, mammography, CAT scan, MRI, or other procedure.

Become a Radiology Tech: Training & Education Requirements

The radiology tech is also responsible for making sure that the patient is prepared to undergo the imaging process, which would mean removing clothing, jewelry, or other personal items that could become an interference to the test and skew results. The technician will also need to make sure that the patient is properly positioned so that the most accurate test results can be achieved.

One of the most important parts of the radiology technician’s job is making sure that all safety precautions are being followed, especially as the equipment being utilized uses various levels of radiation in the imaging techniques, and can become hazardous to people’s health if not handled correctly. Protective coverings such as gowns, lead aprons, etc. are used to protect the patient’s body areas that will not be tested.

Training Required

Because of the sensitive nature of the duties and responsibilities of radiology technicians, they need to be adequately trained and skilled prior to taking on the daily tasks. There are currently several different options that aspiring radiology technicians can choose from:

  • Certificate program. The first option is to take up a certificate program which, on average, takes about one to two years to complete. Many local community colleges, technical or vocational schools, and hospitals offer certificate programs, and these are also offered as online courses.

  • Associate’s Degree. The most common route that radiology technicians take is to finish a two year associate’s degree. Most private and public learning institutions offer at two year associate’s program geared for radiology technicians. Additionally, some larger universities offer a Bachelor’s Degree in Radiologic Technology, which is completed in four years.

Whichever route you choose to take in getting the right education and skills to become a radiology technician, make sure that the institution you select has the proper credentials and accreditation.

Jobs in Radiology

X-ray Technician: What to Expect

So you are thinking of a career as an X-ray technician. This could very well be a promising path for you to take.

Many states have bright employment prospects for X-ray technicians and for radiology professionals in general, especially in places where there are higher numbers of seniors and patients needing medical care and diagnostic imaging.

What kind of career awaits you as an X-ray technician these days?

What You Will Be Doing

X-ray Technician: What to Expect - How to Become a RadiologistYour main job will be to procure images of a person’s body in order to see and diagnose various medical conditions.

Using modern imaging equipment, the images you take will provide physicians and radiologists with the necessary test results to base their medical findings on and to lay out a plan for treatment.

This makes the role of the X-ray technician extremely important, and training for this position is anything but simple.

What You Will Need To Learn

The X-ray technician-to-be will have to learn medical terminology and concepts during training. Even though you may not be directly involved in the treatment of diseases or conditions, you do have to be familiar with them, as a working knowledge of the different conditions will make you more effective and insightful in your role.

The most important part of the training of the X-ray technician is learning how to operate the imaging equipment, something which he or she will have to operate on a daily basis once out of training and performing actual work. X-ray equipment can be either stationed or portable, and the X-ray technician will need to learn how to operate both efficiently.

Interpersonal Skills Required

Another part of your training is knowing how to put the patients at ease and make them as comfortable as possible during the examination. Many people have apprehensions regarding medical procedures.

Part of the X-ray technician’s responsibilities may include explaining to the patient what needs to be done to correctly perform the test, and how to position them correctly to get the right images. Some patients may also need appropriate adjustments or considerations with regard to physical limitations or mobility issues.

Safety First

Safety precautions are also part of the X-ray technician’s duties, and this is taught during training. The goal is to minimize radiation exposure to as little as possible.

Lead sheets, protective clothing, and other blocking devices are utilized in order to minimize the exposure to X-rays. The X-ray technician must see to it that the patient is adequately protected, and during training this is taught and practiced.

Opportunities Await

X-ray technicians are in demand in many parts of the country because of the growing medical care industry and the many treatments and equipment the require their expertise. One of the biggest advantages of the X-ray technician is the fact that they need less years of education and training in order to be able to find employment.

Many two-year vocational courses and programs allow an X-ray technician to find gainful employment in hospitals, doctor’s clinics, radiology clinics, dental offices, and other places.

The average salary of an X-ray technician starts at around $45,000 annually, and many X-ray technicians command salaries of up to $55,000. Also, as you begin to work as an X-ray technician you can choose to continue your education and make yourself more competitive.