What Does a Radiologic Technologist Do?
A career in Radiologic Sciences can lead in many directions, since demand is high in today’s world of increasingly sophisticated health care. You could specialize in dozens of clinical areas ranging from prenatal care to orthopedics. You might manage an entire radiology department, including budget and personnel, or you could teach.
Specializations include mammography, computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, cardiovascular-interventional technology and nuclear medicine.
Whether you consider yourself technically adept or not, you can study Radiologic Sciences. That’s because the field is part science, part art.
Graduation from the Radiologic Sciences program and successful completion of the ARRT examination qualifies you to be a radiologic technologist, or radiographer, and provides you with credentials to continue your education in other radiologic specialty disciplines.
Radiologic technologists usually work a 40-hour week, sometimes including evening, weekend or on-call hours. Opportunities are also available for part-time and shift work, as well as flexible scheduling.
Technologists operate diagnostic machines in designated clinical areas of a hospital, medical center, diagnostic imaging center or physician’s office. They must comply with safety regulations at all times, protecting themselves, their patients and co-workers from unnecessary exposure to radiation.
Radiologic Sciences at a Glance
Looking for a quick overview of the Radiologic Sciences program? Take a look at Radiologic Sciences at a Glance for a short summary of what a radiologic technologist does.
About a Radiologic Technology Career
The job demands sound physical and mental health, and:
- Good vision to work with charts and records and manipulate X-ray controls for the production of radiation
- Good communication skills for conversing with patients and fellow workers
- Physical strength for pushing wheelchairs, beds, stretchers and portable equipment; lifting and carrying equipment, supplies and patients (at least 50 pounds); and constant standing and walking
- The ability to be accurate and precise, since a procedure is only as effective as the person who performs it
- Follow physicians’ orders precisely
- Explain diagnostic procedures to patients
- Secure exposed areas with radiation protection devices
- Prepare diagnostic machines
- Accurately position the patient
They may also:
- Keep patient records
- Adjust and maintain equipment
- Prepare work schedules
- Evaluate equipment purchases
- Manage a department
Opportunities for advancement within the field include:
- Advanced technologies
- Cardiac catheterization
- Computed Tomography (CT scans) (see Brookhaven College’s Computer Tomography Advanced Technical Certificate.)
- Diagnostic Medical Sonography (see El Centro College’s program)
- Education and research
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (see El Centro College’s program)
- Radiation therapy
- Supervision and management
- Nuclear medicine technology
America’s Career Infonet gives detailed information about the skills, abilities, work activities and recommended education for:
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