X- Ray Technologist or Radiologic Technologist
A Radiologic technologist performs all types of imaging procedures, most commonly x-rays. They also administer non-radioactive isotopes known as contrast media for diagnostic purposes. Radiologic technologists are also known as radiographers or x-ray techs. They provide a high standard of patient care, prepare patients for examinations, and explain procedures. Radiologic technologists have a thorough understanding of anatomy, positioning, radiographic exposure, patient care and radiation protection.
Radiologic technologists follow physician’s orders and conform to the regulations concerning the use of radiation to protect themselves, the patients and co workers. With experience radiographers perform complex procedures such as fluoroscopy, which is a real time x-ray procedure used by physicians. Radiologic technologists can also specialize either in computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). CT scans use ionizing radiation, while MRI scans use non-ionizing radio frequency to generate images. Radiographers may also specialize in mammography, angiography, surgery, trauma, and bone density to name a few.
This profession requires good physical stamina, as radiographers are required to stand for long periods, lift and turn disabled patients, and move heavy equipment. Full time x-ray technologists are required to work for about 40+ hours a week, part time and shift work opportunities are also available. Most of the employers prefer to hire technologists with formal training. It is mandatory by law to be certified to work as radiologic technologist and in 2007, 40 states required licensure for practicing. The ARRT (American Registry of Radiologic Technologists) offers voluntary certification.
Radiographers are primarily employed with hospitals, followed by physician offices, medical laboratories, outpatient imaging centers and government agencies. Radiologic technologists held approximately 196,000 jobs in 2006 and their employment rate is expected to grow by another 15 to 20% by 2016. The average median annual earnings for a radiologic technologist was $48,170 in 2006.
What is an Medical X-ray Technician?
A lot of people looking for a career in the healthcare field carry false assumptions about the term “x-ray technician” due to its widespread (but frequently incorrect) use. They believe the title signifies much more than it actually does. So, then, what is an x-ray technician?
X-ray technicians are also known as radio-logic technologists. They are trained in the use of radiography equipment to create images of a patient’s internal anatomy to aid doctors in diagnosis. X-ray technician courses are part of an associate’s degree program in radio-logic technology.
An x-ray technician is:
In general, though, x-ray techs can have responsibilities that include:
X-ray medical technicians must be detail-oriented and have strong communication skills.*
Ability to operate complicated imaging equipment, such as X-ray imaging charge-coupled device (CCD) cameras, automatic or tabletop film processors, image intensifiers, image storage systems and X-ray bone densitometers.
Job Prospects & Salaries
Medical x-ray technicians create x-ray images of parts of the human body using radiographic equipment, to assist in the diagnosis of medical problems. Medical x-ray technicians are often referred to as radiographers or radiologic technicians.
Medical x-ray technicians take radiographic images while performing a diagnostic imaging examination. During an x-ray procedure, a technician must position a patient’s body in a specific manner to capture the exact image ordered by the physician. Positioning may require maneuvering, turning and lifting patients with limited mobility. The technician places the imaging equipment at the correct height and angle relative to the patient’s body to produce the radiograph needed. They may take other measurements to determine the minimum effective amount of radiation needed to gather the appropriate image, and set the controls accordingly. Medical x-ray technicians need detailed knowledge of x-ray procedures and the ability to explain the procedures to a patient.
Medical x-ray techs need to be on their feet for long periods. Some medical x-ray techs work with diagnostic machines at a clinic location, while others travel to meet a patient off site. A technician may use sophisticated diagnostic equipment in vans to work outside the patient’s place of residence or even at their bedside.